06/06/17 — ABC tightens grip on liquor houses

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ABC tightens grip on liquor houses

By Ethan Smith
Published in News on June 6, 2017 7:00 AM

In the wake of a May 27 homicide, local law enforcement is working to shut down liquor houses in the city.

William Darryl Braswell, 36, of Dudley, was shot to death at a liquor house at 235 Wayne Ave. around 3:37 a.m. May 27. He died after being taken to Wayne Memorial Hospital and transferred to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville.

About 18 hours after the incident, the man who lives at the house, identified as 46-year-old Lazorie Staccato Woods, was charged with alcohol-related offenses.

Wayne County ABC Law Enforcement Chief Joe Sadler said authorities realized the residence was a liquor house because of how the inside was set up.

Sadler said Woods allegedly had about 16 bottles of liquor, cases of beer, mixers and cans of Red Bull with $5 price tags on the cans.

"One room of the house was actually strictly tables and chairs, another room was a dance floor with speakers, no furniture and a DJ setup," Sadler said. "In the kitchen area, there was a bar where we seized several bottles of liquors and cans of malt beverages."

Sadler said all of the liquor, malt beverages and beer were seized and are being stored at the ABC Store warehouse on Landmark Drive.

He added there was a tip jar on top of the bar inside the house and Woods had flyers advertising after hours parties at the house that would also have security.

"Everything indicates it was an after-hours location where he was charging for alcohol," Sadler said.

Sadler said he also interviewed one of Woods' neighbors who claimed there were as many as 40 to 50 people at the house sometimes.

Woods was charged with the possession and sale of alcoholic beverages with no permit, possession or sale of non-tax paid alcohol, ABC law violation and possession of a firearm by a felon.

He was put in the Wayne County Jail under a $25,000 secured bond.

Goldsboro Police Chief Mike West said in the wake of the homicide at the house he feels police need to partner with other agencies and the city inspections department to shut down liquor houses using various means.

He said there are very few liquor houses in Goldsboro as elaborately set up as this one.

In total, West said he is aware of approximately five to six liquor houses in the city.

West said he thinks police can partner with ALE to more aggressively work toward closing liquor houses, and partnering with city inspections to more aggressively enforce city code violations could curb the illegal activity.

Sadler said investigations into other liquor houses in the city are ongoing.

"We have partnered up with ALE," Sadler said. "We've got some investigations that are ongoing into some local liquor houses."