State inspectors from the Kentucky Office of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC), along with Corbin Police, conducted a late-night probe into allegations of underage drinking, drug use and other complaints at Angels and Wings sports bar and grill Saturday.
The ongoing investigation into the restaurant could jeopardize its right to legally serve alcohol. Angels and Wings was the second restaurant in the city of Corbin to obtain a liquor license after a by-the-drink referendum passed in 2003.
Corbin Police Cpl. Jason Williams said five ABC officers led the investigation and asked local authorities for assistance. The move came on the heels of “numerous” complaints, he said, regarding underage drinking, over-serving of alcohol and drug use at the restaurant.
“They are leading the investigation into this,” Williams said. “They have more leeway when it comes to checking for illegal sales to minors and stuff like that than we do.”
Police descended on the restaurant at about 11:30 p.m., essentially closing it for the evening. Undercover officers with the ABC had entered earlier, police say, to observe activities inside the establishment. They claim to have witnessed several people “very intoxicated” inside, and little to no food on any of the tables.
A Restaurant that sells alcohol in the city limits can have no more than 30 percent of its gross receipts be from the sale of liquor.
Five people were arrested as a result of the investigation.
Jessica Nadine Brown, 21, of Barbourville was charged with Alcohol Intoxication; Leo Michael Cox, 21, of Barbourville, was charged with public intoxication, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest; Joseph Wayne Cox, 27, of Barbourville was charged with alcohol intoxication; Steve. W. Messer, 40, of Gray was charged with DUI and possession of cocaine and driving on a suspended license; Beverly H. Barton, 18, of Williamsburg was charged with DUI and possession of marijuana.
Police say an unnamed 18-year-old female was also charged with illegal possession of alcohol by a minor. When she was searched, authorities found two different IDs belonging to other females over the age of 21.
A small amount of marijuana was seized, and police also found three crack pipes lying about. No one claimed them and no one was arrested in connection with the pipes.
Williams said Angels and Wings owner Scott Johnson was interviewed by ABC officers, but was not arrested or charged with a crime.
ABC Commissioner John Clay declined to comment on the investigation calling it “ongoing.” A request for records regarding the investigation was denied.
Clay said an “order to show cause” would likely be issued if enough evidence from the investigation is garnered to warrant action. Such an order would make accusations of illegal activity against owners of the restaurant and would set a date for an administrative hearing. Fines, suspension or revocation of an alcohol license can result from a hearing.
Angels and Wings would be the second Corbin restaurant to face such action.
El Dorado Mexican Restaurant in south Corbin was issued a show cause order Jan. 21 for allegedly selling alcohol to a minor, exceeding alcohol sales percentages and allowing the restaurant to be “disorderly,” and owners face an administrative hearing March 15.
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