Montgomery County Police Again Stop Teens Leaving Town Square Market

12:27 PM, Feb 20, 2012   |    comments
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA)--Montgomery County police report they continue to stop underage alcohol buyers crossing into Maryland after leaving a Northwest D.C. store at the same time Washington's Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) says the store is the subject of a current investigation.

The store, Town Square Market, remains open despite continuing documentation of violations by Montgomery County police.

READ: 9News Now Coverage Of Underage Drinking

In the latest reported incident, two 19-year-old buyers were followed by Montgomery County police from the store on MacArthur Boulevard into Maryland on February 10th, according to Sgt. Mark White of Montgomery County Police.   White says the teens were in possession of two bottles of liquor and admitted buying from Town Square Market.  

The incident occurred 9 days after 9NEWS NOW's Andrea McCarren first exposed teenage buying at the store in a report aired on February 1st.

In addition, Montgomery County police revealed for the first time Thursday that they wrote 36 violations for underage purchases of alcohol from the store during a 5-day period in December.  D.C. police were informed about the citations, according to White, who says he was told the information was passed on to ABRA.

In email exchanges, ABRA spokesperson Cynthia Simms has confirmed to 9NEWS NOW that the agency received a complaint by phone.  And in a February 2nd phone conversation with 9NEWS NOW, Simms said the store has been under investigation since before McCarren's first report.

Simms told 9NEWS NOW's Bruce Johnson that the agency tried and failed to conduct it's own underage purchase sting at the store, and that the investigation continues.

In an e-mail exchange Thursday, February 16 Simms was asked by 9NEWS NOW if ABRA has received records of the 36 underage possession citations written by Montgomery County police, and if so, why that is not enough evidence to take immediate action against Town Square Market.

Simms refuses to answer specific questions, saying:  "At this time there is a pending investigation and the Board cannot discuss pending matters." 

On February 10th, Simms wrote that 9NEWS NOW  "...must allow ABRA's investigators to do their job without a spotlight on them." 


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