Compliance checks, conducted at the request of the Fulton County Youth Partnership, has resulted in both criminal and administrative charges against businesses and individuals for allegedly selling alcoholic beverages to minors in Archbold.
The charges were announced in a press release issued last week by Brenda Oyer, Partnership for Success grant program coordinator for Fulton County.
The businesses that hold the liquor permits were each charged administratively with furnishing beer or intoxicating liquor to a person under 21 years of age, and sale of beer or intoxicating liquor to a person under 21 years of age.
The clerks and wait staff were charged through Western District Court with the sale and/or furnishing beer to a person under 21, a first-degree misdemeanor. First degree misdemeanors carry a maximum penalty of six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
The accused businesses and clerks or wait staff:
•Archbold Main Stop, LTD., 1200 Stryker Street, doing business as Oasis Car Mart; clerk: Mary Alice Roth, 68. Arrest occurred 5:10 pm, Saturday, May 3.
•Stonestreet & Stonestreet Oil Company of Auburn, Inc., doing business as S&S Express, 1500 South Defiance Street; clerk: Austin James Baldwin, 24. Arrested: 6 pm, Saturday, May 3.
•Nu-Arch Lanes, 1010 South Defiance Street; clerk: Stella L. Casebere, 54. Arrested: 10:10 pm, Saturday, May 31.
Other Fulton County businesses charged:
•Mac’s Convenience Stores, LLC., doing business as Circle K 5643, 200-204 East Main Street, Fayette; clerk Sheena M. Mannel, 39. Arrested 4:20 pm, Saturday, May 3.
•Country Corral LLC, doing business as Country Corral, 7910 St. Rt. 109, Delta; clerk: Stefanie K. Vance, 41. Arrested: 9 pm, Saturday, May 10.
•Farley Brothers Enterprises, Inc., doing business as Joe’s Tavern, 121-23 Maple St., Metamora; clerk: Lisa M. Ball, 47. Arrested: 10:30 pm, Saturday, May 10.
•Saneholtz TZ McKarns, Inc., doing business as C&J Carry Out, 17980 US20A, Fayette; permit holder charged with furnishing beer or intoxicating liquor to a person under 21; clerk: Deena L. Clark, 28. Arrested 9:10 pm, Saturday, May 31.
The compliance checks were conducted by the Ohio Investigative Unit, or OIU, an arm of the Ohio Department of Public Safety.
Oyer said during a compliance check, an under-aged confidential informant with special training is sent into a business and attempts to purchase alcoholic beverages. An OIU agent waits outside, away from the view of those inside the store.
"The purpose of the checks is to ensure that local retailers with liquor licenses are requiring proper identification to make sure they are selling alcohol only to those age 21 and older, in compliance with the law," Oyer stated in the press release.
She said in an interview the Fulton County compliance checks were requested by the Youth Partnership. Youth Partnership operates under the Partnership for Success grant program, which, in turn, falls under Fulton County Family and Children First Council.
Ray Rodriguez, of the Toledo OIU office, is a member of the Youth Partnership, she said.
The checks were done during the prom and graduation season as part of the "Parents Who Host, Lose The Most" campaign.
They were done in conjunction with party patrols, in which law enforcement officers were on the lookout for youth parties where alcohol might be served.
"I have to say, we were rather surprised" at the number of alleged violations that were uncovered, Oyer said. "As an Archbold community member, I was personally surprised that three of the seven businesses were in Archbold," she said.
Julie Hinds, an Ohio Department of Public Safety spokesman, said it is up to the Ohio Attorney General office to decide whether or not to pursue administrative charges against the liquor permit holders.
If the attorney general office does decide to prosecute, the Ohio Liquor Control Commission will hear the cases. The commission has four options: revoke liquor permits, suspend permits for a period of time, fine the permit holder, or choose to do nothing, Hinds said.
Hinds said OIU officers find the confidential informants in a number of ways. Sometimes the children of OIU agents are used; sometimes, it’s the agent’s children’s friends. Other times, youth on probation for juvenile offenses are used.
Oyer said the Youth Partnership was scheduled to meet yesterday, Tuesday, June 10. At the meeting, the group would discuss what further action will be taken. They may opt to take no action.
"We’ll talk about what kinds of things are appropriate. Is additional training needed?" she said.
"Hopefully, this is a wake-up call to the county that we need to be more vigilant."