Two Morenci businesses were caught Friday in an alcohol compliance operation while three others were compliant with the underage sales law.
Morenci’s police department worked in cooperation with the Lenawee County Substance Abuse Coalition, using a grant to pay the overtime cost for an officer to participate.
Two 17-year-olds from another community served as decoys in attempting to buy an alcoholic beverage. The youths were instructed to use their own driver’s licenses and not lie about their age.
Morenci police chief Larry Weeks said he sent a letter to the six establishments in town selling alcohol explaining that the event would occur sometime in the next couple of months.
“It’s all about compliance,” he said. “I wanted to give them every opportunity to be successful. The idea isn’t to catch people doing things wrong; it’s to look for it being done right.”
Mor-N-C Lanes, Morenci Marathon (Lightning Quick) and Morenci Pub were all compliant with the law. A clerk at Morenci Deli and another at Borchardt Brothers sold alcohol to the youth.
The clerks were each issued civil infraction tickets and the names of the license holders were forwarded to the Michigan Liquor Commission which will decide if additional action is needed, such as a warning or a fine.
Chief Weeks talked to the owners of the two non-compliant businesses and said they’re both taking the issue very seriously. Both told him that corrective action would be taken.
The sixth license holder in Morenci—the Eagles club—was not checked because entry is given only to members unless a public event is scheduled. Weeks said an alternative will be arranged to check for compliance there, also.