Large bust at Malden nightclub
By: CJ Cassidy
By: CJ Cassidy
MALDEN, Mo. - A Malden man's birthday turns into a bust, after officers say he was selling alcohol without a license, just hundreds of feet from the police station.
The nightclub owner claims he did nothing wrong, even though he admits to providing alcohol to some customers.
Police say George Reed doesn't have a liquor license for his Social Club so when they busted in and found alcohol they arrested him.
Reed admits he had alcohol but says he wasn't selling any; he was giving it away free.
"I spent my birthday in jail," 46-year-old Reed says.
He still has his birthday cake intact- after police raided his night club Saturday night for illegally selling alcohol.
"We ended up finding a substantial amount of alcohol in the business," Chief Rod Dill with the Malden Police Department says.
Reed admits he doesn't have a liquor license. "That's why I don't sell liquor. We only have liquor when we're having a private party which is what that was Saturday night," he says.
Reed says more than 100 people showed up after seeing his party fliers posted around town, but police say he broke the law when he charged visitors five dollars to come in.
"By state law when you pay your cover charge to get in the building - you're paying for alcohol. Then you're selling intoxicating liquor without a licence," Dill explains.
Heartland News asked Reed if he is authorized to have alcohol on the property, and he says: " To my knowledge there was nothing said I couldn't. This used to be a liquor store. I own it now, but what I'm saying is as far as I know this is a place that liquor could be."
When asked why he doesn't apply for a liquor license, Reed says: " I don't want the hassle that goes with the state to get a liquor license."
Investigators also say some patrons apparently were using more than alcohol..
"There was crack cocaine, there was crystal meth, marijuana and assorted pills of varying types ," Chief Dill says.
"I wish they would tell me where it came from. From what I understand people threw them on the floor, but if the police showed up and you had drugs in your pocket what would you do?" Reed says.
Reed is a convicted felon, so if he's found guilty on felony charges again,. there would be no way he could get a liquor license.
Generally the Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control decide on a case by case basis.
Two of Reed's employees also face felony charges for selling alcohol illegally.
Incidentally Reed himself, also filed a police report today, after someone broke in and vandalized some of his video game machines.