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South Brunswick Liquor Store Charged with Selling to Minors

The Wine Gallery and two South Brunswick teens charged in crackdown on underage drinking.

A Dayton liquor store was charged Friday for selling alcohol to two South Brunswick teens as part of a crackdown on underage drinking.

The Wine Gallery on Summerfield Boulevard was issued a summons for serving alcohol to minors after the two teens were able to purchase liquor without showing identification last week.

On Jan. 25, two plainclothes officers were watching the Wine Gallery as part of the “Cops in Shops" program, a grant from the state that targets underage drinking. The grant enables plain clothes officers to monitor local liquor stores for alcohol sales to minors. 

At around 6:45 p.m., the officers observed two females, both of whom appeared to be under 21-years-old, enter the store and purchase liquor, according to police. The two females left the Wine Gallery carrying a box filled with alcohol before placing it in the back seat of a Ford Explorer, police said.

The officers then stopped the vehicle as it was leaving the parking lot. Police then found six 40-ounce bottles of malt liquor in the vehicle.

A 17-year-old female told police that she made the purchase, but was not required to show identification by a Wine Gallery employee. She also told police that she never shows identification at the liquor store but is always served.

The 17-year-old juvenile, along with Rebekah Hunter, 18, of Kendall Park, were both arrested and transported to police headquarters.

Officers then returned to the store and spoke to the employee who served the minors alcohol. The employee admitted to police that he had not asked for identification because the teen had been a customer at the store for months, according to police.

The employee told officers that when the teen first came to the store a few months ago, he had asked her for identification, but had not asked to see identification since that initial purchase.   

The 17-year-old female was processed before being turned over to her parents. Hunter was issued a summons and was released pending her first court appearance.

ReallySB January 30, 2013 at 06:05 AM
I am glad that we as a community now pullover people because they look under 21 the real question we should be asking is how many individuals did they pull over before they found one under 21. It seems to me that with a good lawyer these underage individuals can argue a very good case to get this thrown out. Likewise we took a grant to pay for police for this detail, being that 40 of the top 50 twp. employees make over $100,228 are cops why do we need more money to pay for police that clearly are not doing the job at this top pay.
inigo montoya January 30, 2013 at 11:21 PM
ReallySB.... did you read the article? Don't be absurd. The undercover officers noticed that they did not ID the "very likely" underage individuals. This was part of the investigation... it's not like they pull over random young people for no reason.
Pacman February 01, 2013 at 04:51 PM
It is sickening to think that some supposidly "civic minded" individual is complaining about the police doing their job and protecting our youth. It's people like you who are the real problem.
Chris Ciabattone February 01, 2013 at 08:16 PM
I just want to point out that this happened once before over 4 years ago... at the same store. Why is this store continuing to serve minors, looks like a bigger issue to me.
Revolution February 06, 2013 at 06:10 PM
the store owner needs to fight the charges. This is entrapment.

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