Law enforcement agencies seized crates, coolers and boxes of beer and liquor Saturday afternoon in a raid on what agents described as a “liquor house” on Isler Street.
Alcohol Law Enforcement agents said Johnny Thomas, 78, of 729 Isler St., would be charged with one felony count of possession of a firearm by a felon and one misdemeanor count of possession of alcoholic beverages for sale without an ABC permit. A warrant was issued for Thomas’ arrest, but he was not at the scene during the raid. His status after the raid could not be determined before press time.
Wayne County ABC Law Enforcement Chief Joseph Sadler said it was the third time in 14 months his agency executed search warrants at 729 Isler St. for selling alcohol without an ABC permit.
After a four-month investigation, ALE agents executed a search warrant at 729 Isler St. and seized several coolers, boxes and crates of beer and liquor. Sadler said Thomas possessed more than 8 liters of spirit liquor and more than 80 liters of malt beverages when law enforcement arrived.
Sadler said ALE agents issued a warrant for Thomas’ arrest, and all evidence was loaded into a van and transported to the nearest ALE evidence location where it will stay until Thomas’ appearance in court. The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team and Goldsboro Police Department assisted during the operation.
During the raid, Sadler said ALE agents executed a second search warrant at an establishment on Devereaux Street. He said they expect to execute several more search warrants in the coming months.
“We’re going to continue doing this,” Sadler said. “This is an ongoing thing to curtail violence in Wayne County and Goldsboro.”
Sadler said the ALE began ramping up operations to shut down liquor houses in Wayne County and Goldsboro after a string of murders at non-permitted liquor establishments in the city in 2016. He said a campaign to shut down such establishments began in 2017 and has since worked to curtail violence in Wayne County.
There were zero murders at liquor houses in 2018, which Sadler credited to the ALE’s vigilance in shutting down those establishments.