Three Alice businesses cited after TABC sting operation

Ofelia Garcia Hunter, Alice Echo-News Journal

The Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission cracked down on several businesses recently who sold alcoholic beverages to minors, police said.

Police Chief Danny Bueno said they had been informed that Taqueria Jalisco No. 6 on the 1300 block of Main Street was selling alcohol beverages through their drive-thru window.

"We can only recommend to the businesses that have these licenses to train their employees," Bueno said. "They have to have the training and the police department has the training in place to train new employees at no cost."

According to a report by Alice police, TABC set up alcohol stings using minors on Jan. 19 and "a buy was made…through the drive-thru," at Taqueria Jalisco No. 6. Other businesses that allegedly sold alcohol to minors, were Rosy's Stop and Go on West Front Street and Silver Star on South Cameron Street.

Silver Star owner, Silvestre Rodriguez, said his night manager immediately fired the employee who got cited.

"She no longer works here, she was properly trained and certified through the TABC course. All of my employees are," Rodriguez said. "We don't tolerate it."

Rodriguez said his store has policies in place.

Rosy's Stop and Go manager, Nelda Perez, said her employee quit after the incident.

"It was one of my employees, she got upset and quit," Perez said. "She had just started about a month ago. This was our first citation as long as I can remember."

Perez said she has been with the store for 12 years.

A Taqueria Jalisco employee said he couldn't comment on the situation and that the owner of the restaurant was out of town.

The police report stated that TABC would "be filing an administrative case against the license premise for the sell of alcohol to a minor," and advised that "they will be filing a criminal case against the person who sold the alcohol to the minor."

TABC conducted other undercover stings at Micha's on South Cameron, Kwik Pantry on West Highway 44 and Stripes (formerly Circle K) on East Main Street, and these stores complied and did not sell alcohol to minors.

Mohammed, owner of Micha's for 11 years said his employees are instructed on the alcohol laws.

"My employees are always working with me and they have good knowledge of the laws," he said. "Our policy is that if they look like 27 years or under, we check their I.D."

Terry Gonzalez, Kwik Pantry manager agreed.

"All of our employees have to be TABC certified," she said.

"We certainly don't want the alcohol to get in the wrong hands."

Stripes manager or owner was not available for comment.