Commissioners Punish Two Package Stores for Underage Sales

Attorney Joseph C. Edwards, chairman of the Haverhill License Commission.

Haverhill License Commission Chairman Joseph C. Edwards.

Two Haverhill package stores are being forced to stop selling liquor early this weekend after Haverhill license commissioners punished them for selling to a minor.

Convenience Station, 105 White St., and Harry’s Liquors, 239 Lincoln Ave., will each have to close at 6 p.m., Thursday, Friday and Saturday, after a Haverhill Police sting caught them selling to an underage woman June 13 in separate incidents about 20 minutes apart.

The businesses were cited by police for selling alcohol to a person under 21 years of age. Convenience Station, operated by Sahab U. Chowdhury, was cited by police just shortly after 8 p.m., June 13, while Harry’s Liquors, operated by Ankit H. Patel, was cited at about 8:25 p.m. that night, according to Haverhill Police Captain Robert P. Pistone.

Commissioners noted both package stores have been charged with similar offenses in the past four years. Convenience Station received one year’s probation after a July, 2012, incident, and six months’ probation after a September, 2014, incident. Harry’s Liquors received one-year probation and was forced to close at 8 p.m. for three days after a January, 2012, police sting. Following a July, 2015, incident, the business received six months of probation.

In separate motions by Commissioner Tim Coco and seconded by Commissioner Gerald A. Sewell, each business was ordered to stop selling liquor at 6 p.m., beginning Thursday, July 14. Each also received probation for one year.

The state Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission (ABCC) limits penalties local license commissioners may mete out, especially when violations come as a result of police stings, officials have said.