SELMA – The NC ABC Commission has suspended the liquor license of the Gentlemen’s Playhouse in Selma that was raided by state and local authorities on Wednesday night.
Based on the illegal activities which led to the raid and the arrests of 8 people on 100 charges, the ABC Commission has issued a 30-day suspension of the Gentlemen’s Playhouse ABC permits effective immediately.
Wednesday night, NC ALE agents, Selma Police, Smithfield Police, and the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office raided the Gentlemen’s Playhouse, an ABC-licensed club. The club owner, property owner, bartender, DJ and security guard were among those charged after a joint investigation into complaints of employees buying, selling, and using drugs in the establishment, selling alcohol to underage patrols, and consuming alcohol while on duty.
During a two month investigation that led up to the raid, undercover ALE special agents reportedly made numerous controlled purchases of cocaine, marijuana, and illegal alcohol from employees.
In 2013, ALE and Selma Police conducted a similar undercover operation which netted 32 arrests of both employees and patrons of various drug and alcohol violations. The ABC permits were cancelled, but new permits were issued in 2015.
The 30-day liquor license suspension will end on June 23, 2019. The only way for a business to end a suspension early is if the business creates a plan, agreed to by local law enforcement and ALE, to eliminate the problems indicated in the suspension, or the owner/permittee may attend the monthly ABC Commission meeting and explain why the ABC Commissioners should reconsider the suspension early.
Photos by John Payne