EATONTON, Ga. — A Thomaston man and daughter recently were arrested following an undercover investigation by the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office looking into complaints about the sale of alcohol to underage individuals.
The investigation was spearheaded by Putnam County Sheriff Howard R. Sills.
“About a week or two before we started these undercover sells, I had become aware of what was going on,” Sills said. “I sat there in the parking lot in, obviously, an unmarked car, and in a 20-minute period I observed six different people pull up, get out, get their drink and pull out and drive away. Two of them looked very young to me — enough that I would have asked for their IDs.”
He said those people did not show their IDs before they were served alcoholic beverages or what he also described as distilled spirits.
Sills told The Union-Recorder that such was what led to the undercover investigation, where undercover deputy sheriffs were used to make purchases from The Drink Wagon. The portable business is set up in the parking lot of Georgia Butts Barbecue, located along Ga. Route 44 and near the Putnam-Greene county line at Lake Oconee.
Sills identified those arrested as Raley Holloway, 26, and her father, Thomas Paige Holloway, 60, both of Thomaston.
Raley Holloway was charged with four counts of furnishing alcohol to a person under 21 years old, while Thomas Paige Holloway was charged with one count of furnishing alcohol to a person under 21 years of age, Sills said.
After they posted property bonds, both were released from the Putnam County Jail in Eatonton.
They later returned to their business and it re-opened.
The sheriff said the father and daughter co-managers were operating as a contractor to Georgia Butts Barbecue.
“It is sanctioned by the Georgia Department of Revenue,” Sills said.
Sills said his undercover deputies purchased not only alcoholic drinks but bottles of distilled spirits as well.
“He only has a consumption on-premises license,” Sills said.
Three of the four sales made to underaged individuals were made to an 18-year-old, while one of those illegal sales was made to a 13-year-old girl.
Sills said when he learned that the youngest individual was just 13 that was when he decided had to be done right away.
“The operation was a perpetual facilitator of open container,” Sills said.
A week ago Sills said he went back to the business and had deputies park nearby, along the highway in patrol cars.
During that time, Sills said he placed The Drink Wagon under surveillance.
“Within approximately an hour and a half, I observed 14 different vehicles pull up and buy mixed drinks and then get back into their vehicles and drive away,” Sills said. “Of those 14, we made cases against eight of them for open container.”
“Eight out of 14 was pretty good, considering the heavy traffic in the area at the time,” Sills said.