Two adults cited, half a dozen teens slated to appear in Youth Court
Two local adults were cited by the state’s Alcohol & Beverage Control unit following undercover surveillance operations in Attala County on Friday, Aug. 21.
Although neither city nor county law enforcement was involved, Kosciusko Police Chief Herbert Dew said he was aware of ABC’s presence in the area and was familiar with the cases.
In one case, Allison Rush, a Kosciusko School District assistant teacher, pleaded guilty in Kosciusko Municipal Court to charges she supplied alcohol (beer or light wine) to minors. Dew said she paid $644.25 in court costs and fines in the case.
Kosciusko Superintendent Billy Ellzey said that, on advice of the school district’s attorney, he would have little comment about Rush.
“Ms. Rush was an assistant teacher at two of the elementary schools in the district, but is no longer employed with the district,” he said in response to an inquiry from The Star-Herald. He declined to provide any information on whether Rush resigned or the date her employment with the district ended. Unfortunately, this is a personnel issue that I cannot discuss further.”
In the second incident, Abdulkader Hariri of Horne’s Grocery in Sallis is slated to appear Wednesday in Attala County Circuit Court on charges that he sold alcohol (beer or light wine) to a minor on the same date.
In all, about half a dozen local teens received citations for being minors in possession of alcohol in the two cases. They will answer those charges in Youth Court, according to Dew. Because all of the teens who were cited are minors, their names will not be released and Youth Court is closed to the public and press.
Although sources indicated all of the teens are from Kosciusko, Ellzey said he is unaware of citations against district students.
“I have not received notice of students being cited in this incident and our policies only address these types of incidents if they happen on school grounds or at school-sponsored events,” he said.
The superintendent said the district does what it can to discourage alcohol use by its students.
“Our school counselors do education on drug and alcohol prevention at every grade level throughout the year to educate our students on the dangers of drugs and alcohol, and to help prevent drug and alcohol use,” he said. “We emphasize this education as part of red ribbon week each year in October. This year, our red ribbon week will be Oct. 26-30.”
ABC officers reportedly undertook undercover surveillance operations late in the evening of Friday, Aug. 21, with the intent to target the illegal use of alcohol by minors.
In the first case, ABC officers allegedly witnessed Rush purchasing alcohol at Kangaroo Crossing and giving it to minors in a vehicle outside. Officers then followed the individuals to Whit’s, where Rush reportedly purchased more alcohol, again giving it to the youths. At that point, the officers approached, confiscated the alcohol and issued the citations. In addition to Rush, two minors reportedly received citations in this incident.
In the second case, ABC officers reportedly witnessed a minor making an unsuccessful attempt to purchase alcohol (beer or wine) inside the city limits. They followed that minor to Horne’s Grocery in Sallis, where the youth reportedly was able to purchase alcohol from Hariri. The officers followed the youth’s vehicle until it was back within city limits and made a traffic stop at Kangaroo Crossing. Citations were then issued to four youths, as well as Hariri.
According to Dew, there were a number of additional youths who were not cited in the two incidents because their direct involvement in the purchases or possession was not clear.