On November 21st, 2022

Two Liquor Store Employees Arrested on Illegal Narcotic Charges in Bakersfield ABC agents also discovered illegal gambling activity

"California ABC agents work throughout the state to address illegal activity at ABC-licensed businesses.  That work often involves undercover work to investigate illegal drug sales and illegal gambling which threaten public safety." - CSLEA President Alan Barcelona

BAKERSFIELD – On November 18, 2022, the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) along with Bakersfield Police announced the arrests of two liquor store employees in Bakersfield following an investigation involving illegal narcotic transactions and illegal gambling activity at an ABC licensed premises.

ABC agents arrested store clerk Raghid Makhlouf at Tommy’s Liquor on South Chester Avenue in Bakersfield for sales of cocaine and criminal conspiracy. During the investigation, undercover agents purchased cocaine on three different occasions. Additionally, Bakersfield Police arrested store employee Johnnie Bernard Sanders after he  allegedly sold narcotics to undercover ABC agents. Sanders was booked for possession with intent to sell methamphetamine.

The investigation began after complaints about this location from the community. ABC agents went undercover multiple times during recent months to develop the information that led to the arrests.

ABC agents also discovered illegal gambling on the premises and received an illegal online gambling payout from a store clerk.

The department will pursue disciplinary action against Tommy’s Liquor. The penalty could range from a fine to a revocation of the license.

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