Eight Perry County stores caught selling alcohol to minors

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

PERRYVILLE, Mo. -- Eight convenience store employees were caught selling alcohol to minors in Perry County last week.

Working with the Perryville Police Department, the Perry County Sheriff's Department conducted an undercover operation Saturday to see if employees at local convenience stores sold alcohol to minors.

Of the 13 stores in Perry County targeted in and near Perryville, eight had sold alcohol to an underage informant, according to a news release from the sheriff's department. The informant was a 20-year-old woman, with a birthday of Sept. 7, 1985.

"Underage drinking has been a problem for some time, and we need to do things that help restrict access to alcohol by minors," Sheriff Gary Schaaf said in the release.

Six of the eight employees received summonses for supplying liquor to a minor:

* John V. French, 21, of Perryville, employee of Perryville Conoco.

* Jacquelyn A. Choate, 50, of Perryville, employee of Rhodes 101 Stop on Lake Drive in Perryville.

* Jake F. Wolfe Jr., 53, of Perryville, employee of Rhodes 101 Stop on South Perryville Boulevard in Perryville.

* Marie T. Pecaut, 24, of Perryville, employee of Trimtastiks General Store.

* Tabitha M. Johnson, 24, of Chester, Ill., employee of Fisca Station.

* Margaret A.E. Gimber, 20, of Chester, employee of Phillips 66 Station.

The two other employees of a Rhodes 101 Stop on North Perryville Boulevard and Motomart were identified, but summonses were not issued as of Tuesday afternoon as the suspects had not been located, the release stated.

kmorrison@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 127

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