Featured News News Recent News

Johnnie’s Liquors’ License Renewed; Owners Face ABC Administrative Hearing

Bellmawr Council voted to renew the plenary retail liquor license for Johnnie’s Liquor Store. The owners pleaded guilty, received PTI and face an Administrative Hearing with the ABC. The other defendants received five years probation.

Bellmawr Council voted to renew the plenary retail liquor license for Johnnie’s Liquors at their June 22, 2017 meeting.

Bellmawr Police Chief Walsh explained: “Last year, Johnnie’s Liquors was charged with various drug violations. There were three suspects [from Johnnie’s Liquors — Jalat Patel, Dhanaajay Patel, and Rakesh Patel] who all pleaded guilty to various violations. Presently, they are in administrative hearing with the New Jersey Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC).”

Chief Walsh continued: “At this point, they are going through a hearing. Their license has to be renewed because it wouldn’t have to go to administrative hearing if they didn’t have a license. So, Mayor and Council renewed the license upon the advice of the ABC because they are in the process of having their administrative hearing.”

To find out the outcome of the charges that were filed against all of the defendants in the May 26, 2016 drug bust, SJO filed an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) Request with the Camden County Prosecutor’s office.

As for Dominique Green and Armando Rosario, the other two defendants who were also arrested and charged, the Camden County Prosecutor’s office confirmed that Green was sentenced on April 28, 2017 and Rosario was sentenced on June 2, 2017 and that both Green and Rosario each received five years probation.

Jalat Patel, Dhanaajay Patel, and Rakesh Patel all received Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI). As part of the the conditions of their PTI, those defendants were required to forfeit $57,752.77 in money seized.

From the New Jersey Judiciary: “The Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI) provides defendants, generally first-time offenders, with opportunities for alternatives to the traditional criminal justice process of ordinary prosecution. PTI seeks to render early rehabilitative services, when such services can reasonably be expected to deter future criminal behavior. The PTI program is based on a rehabilitative model that recognizes that there may be an apparent causal connection between the offense charged and the rehabilitative needs of a defendant. Further, the rehabilitative model emphasizes that social, cultural, and economic conditions often result in a defendant’s decision to commit crime.”