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One arrested for illegal alcohol sales

by Minden Press-Herald



A man accused of running a blind tiger, or illegally selling alcohol, and a laundry list of other charges, was arrested when a search of his home revealed approximately 192 bottles of beer and other alcoholic beverages reportedly packaged for resale.

Bobbie Ray Johnson, 62, of the 400 block of Front Street, was arrested Tuesday, Jan. 26, on warrants for keeping a blind tiger, illegal possession of a weapon and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was also arrested on another count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The Office of Probation and Parole placed a hold on him as well.

Minden Police Chief Steve Cropper says the incident began approximately six weeks ago when police received a report of gunshots fired. Police launched an investigation into the incident, he says, but the reported victim refused to press charges.

“The victim was reportedly shot at, but the victim never reported it,” he said. “The neighbors called it in, and we gathered enough information on the street that Johnson was allegedly the person that fired the shots at another person.”
During the investigation, officers made contact with Johnson and questioned him about the shooting, Cropper says, and he denied involvement.

“The officers were able to convince Johnson to turn over the gun if it was inside his residence,” he said, “and he did. Johnson was on parole, and he was in violation of his parole by possessing a firearm. At that point, we did not arrest him, but we seized the gun.”

Based on complaints in the neighborhood, the chief says neighbors reported that people were “ganging up” around Johnson’s home, standing around a burn barrel drinking alcoholic beverages.

“They reported some possible illegal activity going on, so we looked into it,” he said. “We sent an undercover officer to his residence, and he purchased alcohol from him. Basically, he was running what they call a ‘blind tiger.’”

Following the undercover purchase, a warrant was obtained for illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and illegal use of a weapon based on the reported shooting roughly six weeks before, Cropper said. A search warrant for his residence was obtained based on the undercover alcohol purchase, he added.

At approximately 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 26, Capts. Marvin Garrett and Daniel Weaver, Lt. Chris Cheatham, Lt. Keith King, Lt. Wayne Young and Officer Terry Stephens executed the search warrant at the Front Street residence, where they found a spent bullet casing in a jacket pocket in the living room area.

Police also discovered three live rounds loaded in an additional .44 caliber handgun in the kitchen, Cropper said.

According to the police report, numerous bottles of hard liquor bottles were found along with approximately eight cases of beer and 20 other bottles of beer on ice. Police say they uncovered a ledger reportedly showing the purchase and sale of the alcoholic beverages.

Cropper says the items discovered during the search were seized and logged into evidence at police headquarters.

Johnson was placed under arrest and transported to Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center.

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