Businesses hit in alcohol sting

A Clovis business will be barred from selling alcohol for more than a week beginning Sept. 6 because of its second offense selling alcohol to minors, and a second business faces lesser penalties for its first offense.
Town and Country Food Store at 700 Thornton and Albertson’s at 1905 Prince Street were both accused of selling alcohol to minors on April 26, and both have made compromise agreements with the Alcohol and Gaming Division of the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department, according to a press release issued by that agency, and have admitted the violation and accepted penalties.
Each agreed to pay fines and have their liquor sales permit suspended.
Town and Country was cited for a second offense. The business was ordered to pay $2,000 in fines and have a seven-day suspension of liquor sales. A previously deferred $1,000 fine and one-day suspension penalty also came due, which means the store will be unable to sell alcohol for eight consecutive business days beginning Sept. 6.
Dan McCurdy, corporate director of communications for Town and Country, said he was previously unaware of the Clovis violation but could not comment on the internal operations of local stores.
“We have an absolutely stellar record as a company of not having this type of occurrence not happen in Texas or New Mexico,” McCurdy said. “We have a number of awards we have received from law enforcement agencies for having passed with flying colors these types of operations, and not being aware of the specifics we could not comment on what is essentially an internal matter.”
The Albertson’s violation was its first offense. The store was assessed $1,000 in fines and one day of alcohol sales permit suspension, with both penalties deferred for six months. The fines will be waived if no more improper alcohol sales occur within six months.
Albertson’s local managers did not respond to requests for comment.

The New Mexico State Police will increase patrols over the Labor Day holiday to watch for speeders and increase use of passenger restraints, according to Lt. Rick Durham from the Clovis office.
Durham said the federal government has awarded a special grant to the Clovis district of the state police that will enable officers to boost patrols from Aug. 29 to 31.
“We’ll have extra officers out during that time frame looking for traffic violations with a special emphasis on speeding, seat belts and child restraints,” Durham said. “Speeding, seat belt and child restraint usage are big factors as to whether there are injuries in a traffic crash.”
“We hope we don’t have to issue a single traffic violation or respond to a single crash,” Durham said.

A Curry County jury convicted a Clovis man this weekend of eight felony and misdemeanor charges in connection with a domestic violence incident with his girlfriend that took place on Jan. 28, according to Assistant District Attorney Matt Chandler.
Steven Moreland, 46, was found guilty of first-degree kidnapping; aggravated assault with intent to commit murder, a third-degree felony; fourth-degree felony counts of battery on a police officer and possession of methamphetamine; and misdemeanor charges of assault on a police officer, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and possession of drug paraphenalia, Chandler said.
The jury acquitted Moreland on two additional charges of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon in connection with the Jan. 28 incident and another alleged incident on Dec. 26.
The convictions against Moreland stem from charges that he tried to drown his girlfriend in the bathtub, physically restrained her in the house until she escaped and ran to a neighbor’s house to call 911, Chandler said.

Cops and Courts is compiled by CNJ staff writer Darrell Todd Maurina. He can be contacted at 763-6991 or darrell_maurina@link.freedom.com