The Alcohol Beverage Commission has file complaints against the A1 Liquor and Deli in Fresno; the commission has filed by administrative and criminal charges against the store.
A1 Liquor store owner Mohamed Alyafaie is accused of selling alcohol to 18-year-old Sylvia Garay, 19-year-old Vanessa Gonzales and 20-year-old Stephanie Cordoba. The three girls were the minors in the SUV that CHP reports say caused the greyhound bus crash in July; the accident killed 6 and injured 22 others.
The complaints against the liquor store were filed July 5th, 2011; Friday ABC released its official complaint. The papers listed three counts of selling alcohol to minors; it included an addition aggravation stating the sell led to the crash.
According to reports Alyafaie sold numerous bottles of liquor and malt liquor to a 22-year-old Michelle Cole. She was a friend of the girls and was accompanied inside the store by Garay and Gonzales. Reports say surveillance video caught Gonzales carrying the bags of alcohol out of the store. “The minors were involved in handling the alcohol on the premises,” says John Montgomery an ABC investigator. While Alyafaie didn’t directly sell the alcohol to the minors he failed to check additional ID’s (checking ID’s of those accompanying a legal adult buying alcohol is not required by law). “A licensee or employee needs to take appropriate steps to assure alcoholic beverages are not sold to minors”, says Montgomery and that is why Alyafaie could face criminal charges because of the failure to prevent.
After the girls left the liquor store they party hopped, drinking the alcohol purchased at A1. Reports say the night of partying was caught on their camera phones. Shortly after the partying, the night turned tragic. This is a situation that is a terrible tragedy. Family and friends have been greatly impacted by poor choices made that evening,” says Montgomery.
A1 owner Alyafaie is now facing partial responsibility including numerous charges. He is facing potential fines, a revoked license and criminal charges including selling alcohol to a minor. ABC’s complaint against the owner shows he has been cited twice for selling alcohol to minors.
As for 22-year-old Michelle Cole, criminal charges are pending.
Christina Lusby Reporting.