Cumberland store manager charged with selling alcohol to minors

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CUMBERLAND — A Portland man has a Sept. 26 date in Portland District Court after he was charged with illegally selling alcohol to minors at the Irving Express Mart at 174 Main St.

Store manager Kazi N. Islam, 63, whose address was not provided by police, was charged Aug. 4 with a Class D count of furnishing liquor to certain persons prohibited, according to Cumberland Police Lt. David Young.

In an Aug. 9 press release, Young said the charge culminated a months-long investigation into alleged sales of alcohol and tobacco to minors at the store. The investigation was conducted jointly by Cumberland and Yarmouth police and the Maine Liquor Enforcement Division.

“For quite some time, the Police Department has been receiving anonymous reports of illegal alcohol and tobacco sales at this business,” Police Chief Charles Rumsey said in the release. “I’m pleased that our investigation was successful at establishing that indeed, this store was a place where minors could expect to purchase these items.”

The investigation also led to civil citations for illegal sales of alcohol and tobacco and the failure to check identification on three separate occasions from May through July, police said. Those charges will be handled by the Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and the Tobacco Enforcement Division of the Maine Attorney General’s Office.

During the investigation, police questioned minors seen leaving the store with alcohol and tobacco products and conducted undercover purchases, Young said.

The criminal charge against Islam stems from his alleged sale of a six-pack and a bag of chips to an underage customer for $60, which police said was “outside the scope of his employment” because he charged extra for the products.

While the Aug. 4 sale was the only one leading to a criminal charge, Young said minors were overcharged when buying alcohol “multiple times.”

“I’m hopeful that our actions will change the behavior of the store manager, and enhance the safety of our children,” Rumsey said.

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or dharry@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.

Cumberland police allege a manager at the Irving Express Mart charged a minor $60 for these items Aug. 4.

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Portland City Hall reporter for The Forecaster. Baltimore native, lived in Maine since 1989. A journalist since 2005, covering much of Cumberland and York counties. I joined The Forecaster in 2012.