WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA)--"You guys are bombarding us for no reason," says a woman behind the cash register at Town Square Market.
Actually 9NEWS NOW has a very good reason. Town Square Market on MacArthur Boulevard in Northwest DC has been exposed for it's alleged underage alcohol sales.
On February 1,9NEWS NOW reporter, Andrea McCarren, aired her first report on Town Square Market. In this report young people under 21 told McCarren they had been buying alcohol from this store for years. 9NEWS NOW cameras also captured young people walking out of the store with alcohol.
In December 2011, two months before her story aired, McCarren notified DC Metropolitan Police about the alleged sales. DC Police tells 9NEWS NOW they notified theAlcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA)--DC's alcohol control board--within that same week.
In January, store owner Richard Dan Ki Kim of Springfield, Virginia denied it all. The 57-year-old threw McCarren out of the store and kept on with business as usual.
Montgomery County Police tells 9NEWS NOW they have issued at least 38 citations in the last two months to teens whoallegedly bought alcohol at Town Square Market and took it across the District line into Maryland.
And Montgomery County Police say as late as Friday, February 10 they busted two 19-year-olds crossing into the County after buying alcohol at Town Square Market.
Finally Saturday night, February 18, Metropolitan Police arrested Kim after District officers this time busteda 17-year-old who'd allegedly bought alcoholand was in possession of someone else's ID. It happened after DC police and DC alcohol regulators failed earlier in the evening to do a sting with an underage decoy.
"We indicated we were going to enforce the law. We have demonstrated that," says DC's Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and justice, Paul Quander, who oversees public safety. "We believe we are sending a message to everyone that we will enforce the law and that it is inappropriate and illegal to sell or distribute alcohol to minors. We take it very seriously."
After Kim's Saturday night arrest, he was detained by Police and then released in the early morningSunday hours.
However, Monday morning the store was open and back in business. The clerk telling 9NEWS NOW reporter Scott Broom the District Police have no problem with Town Square Market.
"If the cops have a problem, then they would have closed us down," says the clerk.
Actually, a shut down would be up to ABRA, the regulators of liquor licenses in DC,who were not available for comment today.
"There's an administrative process," says Deputy Mayor Paul Quanders. "Everyone is entitled to due process. But we have sent a very clear signal with an arrest of an individual who was observed breaking the law. And the administrative process will run its course. There's a criminal penalty. There will be a prosecution. And there will be administrative hearings. So anyone that doesn't get the message, they should. Or they will feel the consequences."
Because of the Presidents' Day holiday, no one from ABRA was available to talk with 9NEWS NOW on Monday about what's next for Mr. Kim. However, on Tuesday morning, Cynthia Simms with ABRA wrote 9NEWS NOW saying, "MPD arrested Mr. Kim and therefore it is now a criminal matter. ABRA will supply the ABC Board with an investigative report of this weekend's events. The Board will determine whether to hold a Fact Finding Hearing on this matter. ABRA is also working with Montgomery County Police regarding the citations they have written regarding Town Square Market."
When Deputy Mayor Quanders was asked to describe what Kim could be facing. "He could be facing, for a first offense, a fine of $1,000 or imprisonment up to 180 days."
Written By: Scott Broom and Samara Martin Ewing
9NEWS NOW & WUSA 9.COM