Three area businesses are busted for selling alcohol to bootleggers

An investigation by the Department of Liquor has revealed that three Arizona Liquor Licensees knowingly allowed alcohol to be purchased from their store that was intended to be resold for a profit ("bootlegging") on a dry Native American Reservation. 

The Department of Liquor investigation indicates that three licensed establishments in northern Arizona were knowingly selling alcohol to bootleggers. They included Red Barn Trading Post, located near the Navajo Nation in Sanders; Lee's Liquors, also near the Navajo Reservation, located two miles north of Chambers, and are both owned by Diana McDonald; and Fred's Liquor Store, 902 N Navajo, Page, owned by David, Dennis, and Fred Warner.

During the investigation undercover law enforcement officers purchased large amounts of alcohol from each liquor store and stated during the purchase that the alcohol was going to be resold or bootlegged on Reservation land.  Each of these store owners faces potential administrative sanctions as to their reliability and capability of operating a liquor establishment. Penalties range from monetary fines to revocation.  The employees who sold the alcohol were criminally cited with a class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum fine of $2,500 and up to 6 months in jail.

The new "Bootlegging" law became effective August 12th and prohibits a retail licensee or employee to sell spirituous liquor to a person if the licensee or employee knows that person intends to resell the spirituous liquor. 

The Director of the Department of Liquor Leesa Berens Morrison stated that, "The resale of retail alcohol is illegal and unregulated.  In the long run, this will hopefully prevent DUI's and underage drinking."

This was a joint investigation with the Navajo Department of Public Safety, Apache County Sheriff's Office, and the Page Police Department.

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