Winchester Food Mart Fails Alcohol Sales Sting

By Benjamin Cox on April 13, 2023 at 8:27am

Google Maps file photo from 2018.

A Winchester convenience store that’s recently been under scrutiny has failed to pass a police sting on alcohol sales.

Winchester Police Chief Steve Doolin told the Winchester City Council that the Winchester Food Mart recently failed a sting by undercover agents in selling alcohol to a minor.

The Scott County Times reports that Doolin said agents performed stings at several locations, including the Winchester Food Mart over the last month and failed the sting, selling to an undercover minor on two occasions.

According to the report, Mayor Rex McIntire says this is the second time the convenience store has failed such a sting.

In alcohol and cigarette stings, employees as well as their employer usually face fines and civil penalties for failure to comply with state and local liquor and contraband laws. Most of the time retailers will fire employees for failing the compliance checks. According to the report, the two employees who allegedly sold to the undercover agents are still employed.

The Winchester Food Mart has been under recent scrutiny after its owner, 38 year old Surjit Singh of Clinton, was charged in Sangamon County Court by Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul for theft of government property, sales tax evasion, filing fraudulent tax returns, and forgery. According to Raoul, Singh failed to remit sales tax money collected from customers to the state of Illinois at the convenience store along with 3 others throughout Central Illinois, resulting in a criminal sales tax liability of more than $100,000.

According to the Times’ report, McIntire says if the convenience store continues to fail compliance checks on alcohol sales, the city will terminate the store’s liquor license.