Police/State Liquor Authority raid Sunoco Convenience Store in Lyons
On Friday at 6 p.m. the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office teamed with members of the Lyons Police Department to complete an investigation that has been over a year in the making.
Charged as a result of this investigation, dubbed “Operation Sun Down”, were Sunoco Store owner/manager Hamid Suhail, age 52, of Auburn Road in Seneca Falls. He was charged with Conspiring to Commit a Crime, Falsifying Business Records, Petit Larceny, and Misuse of Food Stamps. Hamid was found in Possession of a Controlled Substance Outside its Original Container and was charged with that also.
Imran Suhail, age 18, also of Auburn Road in Seneca Falls was charged with selling Alcohol to a minor.
Keeley Anne Davis, age 25, of Lock Street in Clyde was charged with 4 counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the third degree, 4 counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance third degree, 2 counts of Falsifying Business Records, and six counts of Misuse of Food Stamps.
It began in March of 2010, when Mary L. Lippert, Director of Temporary Assistance at the Wayne County Department of Social Services (DSS) received a complaint of illegal activity at the Sunoco Gas Station and convenience store at 93 Geneva Street (Route 31) in Lyons.
Lippert found the complaint to have merit and reached out to the Sheriff’s Office for assistance in investigating. Together, they gained the assistance of the Wayne County District Attorney’s Office, U.S. Department of Agriculture and New York State Social Services Office of Audit and Quality Control.
Sheriff’s Detectives requested and received a warrant to search the business. Assisted by The Lyons Police and members of The Alcohol Beverage Control Board as well as from the DSS.
The multifaceted investigation initially focused on members of the Sunoco Gas station accepting food stamps for unauthorized items such as alcoholic beverages and cigarettes. As it moved forward, Deputies were able to trade off food stamp benefits for K-2 (imitation Marijuana), smoking pipes, gasoline, beer, tobacco products and eventually purchased narcotic drugs with food stamp benefits. The store was giving cash back from food stamp transactions. It was further taxing the government subsidized benefits while keeping the extra money charged to the food stamp recipient. The State Tax Fraud Dept. has been advised of the situation and further investigation is expected.
All three were arraigned before Lyons Village Justice Nicholas Forgione. Hamid Suhail was committed to jail on $5000, Davis on $2500 and Imran Suhail’s bail was $500.
All three will return to the Lyons Village Court at a later date.