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Universal Liquors license revoked

February 04, 2009|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- Washington County liquor officials have revoked the license of a Hagerstown liquor store in connection with alleged drug activity that occurred inside the business last year.

The Board of License Commissioners for Washington County, known as the liquor board, revoked the license of Universal Liquors, 33 E. Franklin St., on Jan. 23, according to liquor board documents.

The liquor board wrote in its decision that Ngek and Vorn Chum, the licensees of Universal Liquors, violated state code "by disrupting the peace, safety and quiet of the neighborhood ... By allowing the sale of a controlled dangerous substance(s) to occur on the licensed premises."

The Washington County Narcotics Task Force has alleged that marijuana was sold at the business July 3, and cocaine was sold at the business Dec. 4 and 11.

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Shelton Jamaal Parker, 22, of 222 Summit Ave., Apt. B, Hagerstown, was charged with two counts each of distribution of cocaine, possession of cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia and conspiracy to distribute cocaine.

Eligio Jesus Vera Duarte, 24, of 9 W. Franklin St., Hagerstown, was charged with one count each of distribution of cocaine, possession of cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia and conspiracy to distribute cocaine.

A third person, who remains at large, is believed to have sold the marijuana July 3, Frank Toston, an agent with the Washington County Narcotics Task Force, said Wednesday.

According to court documents, the charges were filed against Duarte and Parker on Dec. 12.

Robert L. Everhart said the three-member liquor board decided to revoke the license because the evidence was overwhelming.

"That was the direction of the board," Everhart said. "We all felt that way."

The Chums were ordered to have all of the liquor removed from the store by Monday.

Everhart said Wednesday he wasn't certain whether the Chums had complied with the order.

Documents show the Chums could have disposed of the liquor in the following ways:

o By returning the alcohol to the distributors

o By contacting the State of Maryland for a bulk sale permit to sell the alcohol to a licensee who is permitted to sell beer, wine and liquor

o By retaining the alcohol for their personal use

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