Liquor license pulled for drug and alcohol sales to kids

KINGSBURG, Calif.

Tom's Market at Tenth and Kern Street in Kingsburg lost its liquor license indefinitely Friday. Police say criminal charges may soon follow.

Kingsburg Police Chief Jeff Dunn said during the investigation police discovered the store was offering porn to teens as well as selling meth.

Kingsburg Police and the Department of Alcohol Beverage Control said liquor can no longer be sold at Tom's Market. The store was closed Friday morning, but its doors reopened by the afternoon.

Documents obtained by Action News detail 18 counts against the people who run the market. Most of the counts are for selling alcohol to minors.

"At least one of those instances has resulted in a child becoming ill to the point of needing emergency medical care from an ambulance and emergency room," Chief Dunn said.

The 13-year-old girl, according to the paperwork, bought a can of the controversial drink Four Loko. Investigators said she drank the can of malt liquor so fast she passed out.

Police said surveillance video showed teens walking in the store and then walking out of the store with alcohol. Many times the drinks were poured into Styrofoam cups.

"The department has ordered the license revoked," said Christine Weldon with Alcohol Beverage Control. "But we've postponed the revocation for 6 months to allow the licensee to sell the license to somebody else outside of Kingsburg."

Tom's Market sits just across the street from Roosevelt Elementary. Theresa Smith's 6-year-old granddaughter goes to school there, and Smith is upset to hear what police said was happening within a block of her home. "It's sneaky, it's sad that they would do that," Smith said. "I think it needs to be shut down. I really do, because if they done it now they're going to do it again. They're going to do it somewhere else."

Chief Dunn said he has handed over evidence of the alcohol and drug sales to the Fresno County District Attorney's Office. No criminal charges have been filed yet.

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