On August 20th, 2019

Salinas Restaurant Owner Sentenced to Jail in Connection with Underage Drinking Death Monterey County DA’s Office praises ABC Agent Francisco Gonzalez for his investigative work

SALINAS - When a grieving mother, who lost her 20-year-old son to a solo, fatal vehicle accident, discovered her son was driving drunk, she turned to the California Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) to find out who furnished alcoholic beverages to her only child. That job was assigned to ABC Agent and California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) Member Francisco Gonzalez.

Monterey Deputy District Attorney John Hubanks credited Agent Gonzalez with doing an outstanding job. He said the victim’s mother contacted ABC one week after the accident and Agent Gonzalez “jumped on it. He definitely deserves kudos!”

Agent Gonzalez discovered that on January 29, 2017, Abraham Requena, 20, was a patron at Tacos Acambaro in Salinas. The owner, Fernando Jimenez Hernandez, 45, allowed Requena to purchase beer throughout the night. Requena died in a crash while driving home. His blood alcohol level when he died was .27. Agent Gonzalez obtained surveillance video in which Requena is seen in the restaurant drinking and showing signs of increased intoxication.

On August 16, 2019, Fernando Jimenez Hernandez was sentenced to serve one year in county jail for furnishing alcohol to a person under 21, who after consuming the alcohol caused death to himself by crashing his car.

“ABC licensees have a duty to check IDs and to also stop serving patrons who are becoming more and more intoxicated,” said CSLEA President Alan Barcelona. “Thank you to Agent Gonzalez for his investigation and for helping a grieving mother to find answers in connection with her son’s death.”

In addition to Agent Gonzalez’s investigation, the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office was investigating Hernandez for workers’ compensation fraud. Investigators determined that Hernandez operated his business without workers’ compensation insurance and paid many employees in cash without withholding required payroll taxes. He pleaded guilty to charges of insurance and tax fraud and received a five-year term of felony probation following his year in jail for serving alcohol to someone under 21. Should Hernandez violate the terms of his probation, he faces six years, six months in prison.

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