A couple of North Carolina law enforcement agencies had in recent weeks been fielding calls and complaints about activities in a house about 90 miles southeast of Raleigh.
Neighbors said the Grifton “liquor house” was a hotbed of activity that included drug trafficking, illegal alcohol sales, gambling and fights.
The Lenoir County Sheriff’s Department said a “liquor house” is a residence where alcohol is sold to visitors by the glass, just as it’s done at a bar or restaurant. The main difference, police said, is that residents of a “liquor house” don’t have the proper license to sell alcohol.
Grifton Police Department officers have responded since early this year to more than two dozen complaints called in from neighbors about excess traffic around the house, as well as loud noise, in addition to the complaints about alcohol, drug and gambling activities and fights.
Last Friday, Lenoir County sheriff’s deputies raided the house, finding a dozen people inside, several of whom were arrested and now face criminal charges.
A 29-year-old man who apparently lives at the address was charged with a felony for maintaining a dwelling for keeping and selling a controlled substance, as well as misdemeanors for possession of alcohol for sale, illegal lottery ticket sales and selling alcohol without a permit.
Three Grifton men were charged with felony possession of cocaine; one of them was also charged with simple possession of marijuana, police said.
A Kinston woman was charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana; she was cited at the scene and then released from custody; so too was a Grifton man charged with the same offense.
An Ayden man was cited for carrying a concealed handgun; he was also released at the scene.
Law enforcement officials said more charges might yet be filed in the ongoing investigation.
Source: WITN, “Illegal Liquor House Busted In Lenoir County,” by April Davis, Oct. 22, 2013