Bootlegging In Tyler - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Bootlegging In Tyler

The word bootlegging brings to mind the days of prohibition and moonshine. But in dry counties throughout East Texas, it's still a serious crime. Police still make arrests. 

Just last Friday, the Tyler Police arrested 55 year old Curtis Martin of Tyler.  He is accused of selling alcoholic beverages in a dry area. Bootlegging, a little too common in this Tyler neighborhood.  That's according to those that live there, speaking to us on the condition of anonymity.

"No, I wasn't surprised cause what happened Friday.   I knew sooner or later it was going to happen.  I'm glad," anonymous neighbor. 

Other residents agree that bootlegging is a problem in their neighborhood. They didn't want to go on camera, but say they are happy that something is being done.  On Friday, police seized more than 200 cans of beer, most of which were 16 ounce cans, and 12 bottles of liquor.  That is well over the legal limit.  

"A combination of over 24 can of 12 once beer or 1 quart of hard liquor so anything over that would be prima facie evidence with the intent to sell," says Officer Don Martin, Public Information Officer with Tyler Police Department. 

Twenty-four cans of 12 ounce beers is just a case of beer.  Does that mean one trip to the liquor store and you're in volition of the law?   "Technically they would be in violation of the law but we use common sense.  If a person is using it for their individual consumption or are they reselling it to the public and that's what we have a problem with is when they are reselling it.  The fact that we are in a dry county that it is a problem, it's something that we are continuing to work on.  Along with TABC and we are doing the best we can," says Officer Martin.

Police say they are aware of the areas bootlegers are working.  They are watching closely and they hope to soon make more arrests.

Curtis Martin is out on a bail. Bootlegging is a class B misdemeanor. Punishable by up to a $2,000 or 180 days in jail or both.

Karolyn Davis, reporting.


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