Minden Press-Herald

Tuesday
Jul 22nd

Man busted for booze sales

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A Minden man is in trouble with the law for "keeping a blind tiger," but his arrest has nothing to do with wild animals that are visually impaired.

Bobby Ray Johnson, 59, of the 400 block of Russell Street, is charged with selling alcoholic beverages from the back of his pick-up truck. Minden Police also served two warrants on Johnson for distribution of CDS Sch. II (crack cocaine).

Police Chief Steve Cropper said his narcotics agents have been watching Johnson for some time.

"Lt. Dan Weaver and Capt. Marvin Garrett noticed Johnson at the corner of Plateau and Front streets ­– always with a crowd of people around," Cropper said. "Sometimes there would be 15 or 20 guys ganged up around a burn barrel."

Weaver and Garrett identified Johnson and found two outstanding arrest warrants for drug distribution.

Thursday morning, Weaver, Garrett, Cropper, Det. Chris Cheatham, Det. Keith King and Lt. Seth Young and his patrol group went to the location. Johnson was reportedly missing; however, an ice chest containing only ice was at the scene and around 10 individuals were standing near it.

"We identified the ones that were there, patted them down and checked them out," said the chief. "None of them had outstanding warrants so we sent them all on their way."

About that time, Cropper said Johnson drove up in a black pick-up truck.

"We stopped him in the road, and Lt. Weaver and Capt. Garrett placed him under arrest on the outstanding warrants," the chief said. "The alcohol was located in the back of the truck, and Johnson admitted he had been selling beer and alcohol out of the back of his truck to the people sitting around the yard. That's what we call keeping a blind tiger."

While Cropper was unsure how long Johnson has been selling the beverages from his truck, he said agents have seen him at that location for at least two weeks.

"We decided to just shut the party down," he said.

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