State authorities, in the wake of an undercover operation led by troopers, have charged 24 residents of Bethel with allegedly selling alcohol without a license, a class A misdemeanor.
The state’s office of special prosecutions said on Sept. 8 that in 2015 and 2016 law enforcement officers in Bethel made 50 undercover alcohol purchases from individuals who were not licensed to do so, and that 47 of those alleged illegal sales involved on-duty cab drivers. In the majority of the alleged incidents, a cab driver sold an undercover officer a single 750 milliliter bottle of R&R Whisky for $50.
The state has filed charges against 18 cab drivers, including drivers from Quyana Cab Company, Kusko Cab Inc., Alaska Cab Company and Taxi Cab Company.
A former night manager at Tundra Suites motel was also charged with two counts of selling alcohol without a license for allegedly selling alcohol to an undercover officer who was staying at the motel.
The maximum penalty for a person convicted of selling alcohol without a license is one year in jail and a $25,000 fine. The maximum penalty for a business convicted of selling alcohol without a license is a $500,000 fine.