MILLEN - A month-long investigation by the ATF resulted in four arrests and the closing of Club Underground in Jenkins County last week.
Ronald Huckaby, special agent in charge of District #4 with the Georgia Department of Revenue, Alcohol and Tobacco Law Enforcement Division, said his office in Savannah received some information about the club after a concerned citizen observed the ease at which alcohol could be purchased at the club, located on Highway 25 South of Millen.
An investigation was initiated 30 days ago, said Huckaby, after Club Underground was reported selling liquor in a dry county, selling drugs, and allowing under aged subjects into the club.
Undercover agents were assigned to frequent the club every weekend during the investigation, until substantial evidence was collected, Huckaby said.
During the investigation, Huckaby said the agents were able to easily purchase beer and liquor, and they observed considerable drug activity inside the club.
"Basically, if you paid your $10 cover fee to get in the door," he said, "it didn't matter how old you were."
In the early morning hours of Jan. 15 the Jenkins County Sheriff's Office with Sheriff Robert Oglesby, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources: law enforcement division, the Georgia State Patrol, and 10 of Huckaby's agents went to the club, Huckaby said. After a briefing at 12:40 a.m., they executed a search warrant at Club Underground.
The undercover agents were placed inside the club once again prior to the search, said Huckaby, to ensure certain subjects remained in the building during the raid.
Officers and deputies cleared the club of customers, said Chief Deputy Johnny Griner with Jenkins County Sheriff's Office, before arresting the club's operator, two bartenders and the disc jockey.
Subjects arrested include Jeffery Maurice Sapp, 34, of 305 Waters Avenue, Millen, who was charged with two counts sale of alcoholic beverages without a license, and one count sale of distilled spirits in a dry county.
Mary Shavonne Coney, 24, of 374 Perkins Row, Millen, was charged with two counts sale of alcoholic beverages without a license.
Khambrel Veunte Gross, 23, of 410 Utley Road, Waynesboro, was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, sale of distilled spirits in a dry county, and two counts sale of alcoholic beverages without a license.
Paul Edward Shiiholster, 48, of 131 North Tatnall Street, Milledgeville, was charged with possession of marijuana.
Officials seized a large quantity of beer and liquor, said Huckaby, and a large quantity of marijuana from Gross.
Huckaby said the club was also closed down by Sheriff Ogelsby, until further action is taken.
All subjects were transported to the Jenkins County Jail, said Griner. Sapp, Coney, and Shiiholster, he said, were released on bond Saturday, while Gross is being held pending Superior Court action in his case.
With the help of all the agencies, Huckaby said he felt it was a successful case, where the objective of putting a stop to what could have become a major problem for Jenkins County citizens was achieved.
"The case is still under investigation," said Huckaby, "with additional arrests and possible pending felony charges forthcoming."