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Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control Cites Two Beer Retailers for Illegal Operations

More than 1,000 cases of beer confiscated

July 24, 1998

BATON ROUGE - Investigators of the Department of Revenue''s Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC) cited two Louisiana men this week for illegal sales of beer and other alcohol beverage control violations. ATC agents seized 1,091 cases of beer, along with the vehicles being used to transport the beer.

On Wednesday, ATC agents cited Joe Ben Carter, proprietor of Pipe''s Drive-in, Homer, for operating without a wholesale permit, in-state transportation of non-taxed alcohol, in-state transportation by a means other than common carrier, and operation as a retailer and wholesaler. Approximately 442 cases of beer were seized, along with a 1999 Ford F-350 pickup truck and 16-foot trailer.

On Thursday, John L. Brunson, president of J & J Drive-in, Inc., Haynesville was cited in Alexandria for operating without a wholesale permit, in-state transportation of non-taxed alcohol, in-state transportation by a means other than common carrier, and operation as a retailer and wholesaler. In addition, State Police charged Brunson with not having a commercial driver''s license, operating without a log book, no name on his vehicle, having no health card, and having an overweight vehicle. Approximately 649 cases of beer were seized, along with a 1993 Kenworth 18-wheel truck and trailer.

Revenue Secretary John Kennedy explained the reason for the wholesale permit requirement: "Liquor wholesalers have to be permitted under Louisiana law in order to sell to retailers to ensure that all excise and sales taxes are collected and properly paid to the state and local government. If we allow some people to evade their fair share of taxes, the rest of us have to make up the difference by paying more. That''s not right."

Kennedy praised Assistant Secretary and ATC Commissioner Murphy Painter, the ATC agents, and the State Police for their work on the case. "These citations were the result of a month-long investigation involving many hours of work," Kennedy said. "Commissioner Painter, the ATC agents, and the State Police did a magnificent job," he added.

Kennedy also issued the following warning to would-be violators: "The liquor laws of Louisiana will be vigorously enforced under Governor Foster''s administration. People who ignore them do so at their own considerable peril."