Business Doubles As Speakeasy

Don Engler Payson police chief

Don Engler Payson police chief

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During the day, Mogollon Stone functioned like any other Rim Country business, but after hours that façade was replaced with something a little more fun and illegal, say Payson Police.

The stone business, at 401 N. Tyler Parkway, was allegedly the location for parties that attracted dozens of people willing to pay a cover and purchase alcohol for a little rockin’ fun.

On Saturday night, officers from several agencies searched the business and found underage drinking and the illegal sale of alcohol.

Officers cited five people, including the business’ owners for various liquor violations, said Payson Police Chief Don Engler.

Investigators first started watching the business three months ago when police got a tip about parties being held in the large warehouse.

At first, officers thought people were just socializing, but investigators eventually concluded that more than mingling was occurring.

The business owners allegedly charged a cover fee for people to come and listen to a DJ or band and pay for alcohol. Alcohol was also reportedly being sold to juveniles, according to police.

“The illegal part was that they were selling alcohol without a license and there were minors,” he said. “We realized it was turning into a liquor establishment.”

When police arrived Saturday night, roughly 40 people were at the business.

Everyone but the owners and several juveniles were released without incident, Engler said.

Officers with the special enforcement unit for the Payson Police Department arrested Carlos Rodriquez Chavez and Raquel Guadalupe Lara-Corrales on charges of operating an unlicensed liquor establishment, allowing consumption of alcohol at an unlicensed establishment, allowing underage consumption and three counts of furnishing alcohol to juveniles.

Police cited Ivan Camboa, Nilka Desiree Carranza and a juvenile for underage consumption.

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