Clerk arrested for twice selling alcohol to minors

St. Augustine local news reporters learned that Mariam Choutri, 56, who resides on Ponce Harbor Drive in St. Augustine, was arrested February 15th on her job at King Food Mart on West King Street, during an alcohol compliance check of the “Party’s Over” campaign.

This was the second offense for Choutri; the first occurred in July 2009. Choutri was released the following day after her first appearance hearing and posting a $500 bond.

Media Relations Officer Kevin Kelshaw told Historic City News that as part of the Sheriff’s Office Investigative Aide Program, a 17-year old girl attempted to purchase alcohol at 14 local establishments in the various parts of the county.

The Aide, who would produce her actual identification if asked and would state her true age, if requested, was served alcohol at 3 of the 14 businesses.

Besides Choutri, the Sheriff’s Office issued citations to each of the other two offending clerks; who now face charges of selling, serving or giving alcohol to a person under the age of 21.

The establishments where clerks were charged with selling alcohol to a minor were:

King Food Mart, 667 W. King St., (Clerk arrested)
Kangaroo Express, 1710 S.R. 207 (Charges signed)
Publix, 4255 U.S. 1 South (Charges signed)

Copies of the reports will be sent to the Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco for potential administrative investigations.

Clerks at the following businesses refused to sell alcohol to the Investigative Aide: Pilot, 1625 C.R. 210W; Kangaroo Express, 1740 C.R. 210W; BP, 125 Center Place Way; Emisa Express, 2450 S.R. 16; Racetrac, 2711 S.R. 16; Daily’s, 2355 S.R. 16; Kangaroo Express, 2330 S.R. 16; Ken’s Corner Store, 890 W. King St.; Hess Express, 2505 U.S. 1 South; Citgo, 2110 U.S. 1 South; and Dollar General, 525 S.R. 16.

The unannounced compliance inspections are funded by a SARG Grant that falls under the PACT Coalition.

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