By Jody Stewart
Sheriff Sid Lockhart said after he received multiple complaints of local Chambers County convenience stores selling alcohol to underaged citizens, he directed deputies to investigate the matter.
On December 31, 2019 at approximately 7:00 p.m., the Chambers County Sheriff’s initiated “Operation New Years Resolution.” Deputies traveled to nine different stores attempting to purchase alcohol from these stores using a male adult employee of the Sheriff’s office. This resulted in the arrest of the following five clerks of these stores after they sold alcohol to the Sheriff’s Department employee, who was under the age of 21.
Big Cat Fuels 3006 S Phillip Road Lanett, AL Arrested: Din Mohammad 39 of Lanett;
Circle K 588 Fob James Drive Valley, AL; Rodgerick D Swanson 31, of Cusseta; Marathon 2310 South Broad Ave Lanett, AL; Shirmiracle Y Mackey, 27 of Lanett;
Welch Super Service 32300 Blk Highway 431 N Roanoke, AL; Guy L Thompson 65 of Roanoke and Sunoco 13090 VMP Lafayette, AL Chaudhry N Mehmood, 61 of Lafayette.
Sid Lockhart said, “I am thankful for the citizens who brought this matter to our attention and thankful of the work put in by the deputies who brought in five people guilty of selling alcohol to minors.”
After such an effective New Year Eve’s night Sheriff Lockhart decided to send the deputies out again on Friday, January third and continue the investigation of businesses selling alcohol to minors.
At approximately 1:00 PM phase two of “Operation New Years Resolution” was initiated. The Sheriff’s office employees again conducted compliance checks of 16 different stores in Chambers County resulting in the arrest of one clerk. Jennifer Whitlow 42, of Lafayette who was arrested for selling alcohol to a minor at the Marathon located at 301 9th Ave S.W. Lafayette.
“I could not believe it after we just took down five stores our deputies still found someone willing to sell to a minor,” said Lockhart.
Sheriff Lockhart warns owners of stores selling alcohol that these type of compliance details will continue. Sheriff Lockhart would also like to thank Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s SBI unit for assisting with this detail.
“A lot of teenagers already think they are bullet-proof and allowing them to have access to alcohol while driving is a recipe for disaster,” said Lockhart.
“Furthermore I am aware of fake ID’s being used by underage youth and about adults who allow under age youth to party and drink alcohol at their homes and then allow youth to drive home.” Sheriff Lockhart says these matters will be dealt with appropriately.
“I don’t get it. I have seen a lot of loss of life and families heartbroken by underage drinking and driving. It is not worth it. The consequences of underage drinking can range from a minor in possession, a DUI and worst case death,” said Lockhart. “Teenagers do not have the life experiences to pull from like adults. Most of them live in the moment and when someone provides them alcohol while driving that moment can be the last for them, friends riding with them or other drivers they meet on the road.”