ABC License Revocation is not a criminal proceeding. It is a matter related to business operations, outside of criminal guilt or innocence. It’s enough for many of us that MPD seized a large quantity of crack cocaine from the DC Fish Carryout’s premises during a February search warrant. In order for MPD to receive authorization to carry out a search warrant, substantial investigative findings were documented. Sufficient probable cause was found to charge the three defendants with felony drug distribution. There are high legal standards for such serious charges. According to the court dockets, plea bargains are expected in all three cases, meaning that the defendants were caught dead-to-rights, and will admit their guilt. See for yourself: http://www.dccourts.gov/internet/CCO.jsf
Timothy Diablo Hill may not be convicted at all. He didn’t show up to court on 4/20, and his whereabouts are unknown to those in law enforcement. He’s essentially “in-the-wind,” getting away with it, unless he gets picked up. Meanwhile, the store owner was released on personal recognizance and as far as I know, is operating and earning as usual.
A liquor license is a privilege granted by our city government who stand for the people of our city. An ABC license allows a business like the DC Fish Carryout greater earning potential. By harboring the sale of drugs from the DC Fish Carryout, Suk In Hyun has violated the public trust (allegedly for now; once he pleads guilty, in fact). The Office of the Attorney General has already prepared a case file, and the ABC Board will review it soon. The ABC Board does not require a criminal conviction to revoke the liquor license, but I’m sure they will assess all the facts in evidence fairly. The petition and letter-writing campaign were pursued by concerned community members based on the advice we received from an official involved in the case at a recent community meeting. He said that petitions and letters are accepted and appropriate means of protest.
There are now over 250 signatures on the petition and many signers also wrote heart-felt comments about keeping their neighborhood safe for their families. Tax-paying citizens have every right to have our “say” about who should hold a license to sell liquor and tobacco at nearby businesses.