Nov 18, 2022

Multiple Individuals are Arrested on Illegal Narcotic Charges in Bakersfield

ABC also discovered illegal gambling activity

Bakersfield – The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) along with Bakersfield Police have arrested two store employees in Bakersfield following an investigation involving illegal narcotic transactions and illegal gambling activity at an ABC licensed premises.

ABC arrested store clerk Raghid Makhlouf at Tommy’s Liquor located at 2501 South Chester Avenue in Bakersfield for sales of cocaine and criminal conspiracy. During the investigation, undercover agents were able to make purchases of cocaine on three different occasions. Additionally, Bakersfield Police arrested store employee Johnnie Bernard Sanders who allegedly sold narcotics to undercover ABC agents. Sanders was booked for possession with intent to sell methamphetamine.

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

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

“ABC is committed to keeping communities safe,” said ABC Director Eric Hirata. “We value our relationship with the Bakersfield Police Department and thank them for their assistance with this investigation.”

ABC will continue to work with allied agencies to tackle illegal narcotic sales and illegal gambling to increase public safety. The department will pursue disciplinary action against Tommy’s Liquor. The penalty could range from a fine to a revocation of the license.

ABC protects communities through education, prevention, and enforcement programs designed to increase compliance with California’s alcoholic beverage laws.

ABC encourages off-sale licensees to sign up for ABC’s Licensee Education on Alcohol and Drugs (LEAD) training free of charge. Store owners and their employees can take the training online. They can also sign up for training in person in a classroom setting.

To learn more about ABC enforcement and prevention programs that can help increase public safety visit our Enforcement and Prevention pages on ABC’s website.

Contact

Additional information may be obtained by contacting:

John Carr, Public Information Officer
3927 Lennane Drive, Suite 100
Sacramento, CA 95834
Email: pio@abc.ca.gov
Phone: (916) 419-2525

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