An Erie business owner is facing criminal charges for selling alcohol without a license.
A sales without a license charge is pending on the Rumors Lounge. This comes after neighbors called to explain their concerns over the last several months.
Multiple law enforcement agencies came together to execute a search warrant in Erie’s East Side.
“The investigation commenced from complaints from the community and from the Erie Police Department alleging sales without a license. Through the course of the investigation we have developed solid information that in fact they were selling alcohol without a license and that’s what led to Friday night’s raid,” said Sergeant William Stuckey, PA State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement.
Officers executed a search warrant at Rumors Lounge late Friday night, saying they found alcohol and marijuana and are charging three people for underage drinking.
As for what the lounge is supposed to be operating as, “My understanding is that they had a certificate that was issued by the health department. They had a fully stocked kitchen that was in good working order. So, it is my impression that they were simply a restaurant,” said Sergeant Stuckey.
Police explain that the community reaching out played a major role in the investigation.
“Just like any other nuisance house or nuisance area we get calls; obviously we’re going to investigate those calls. If we are getting calls for illegal operations going on in a house or in a business, we are going to look into that,” said Captain Rick Lorah, Erie Police Department.
With the addition of the Erie Nuisance Bar Task Force, police say the hope is to crack down even more on this sort of activity.
“In the past we’ve had some pretty good success with closing down some of these illegal operations. That takes time. So, bear with us, they are being investigated,” said Captain Lorah.
Along with state police and city, the Attorney Generals Office and Erie Fire and Code Enforcement assisted with the raid.
We reached out to the owner of Rumors Lounge, however he did not get back to us in time for the newscast.