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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Despite pending charges, Los Primos owner applies for new alcohol sales permit

Posted by on Thu, Jun 2, 2011 at 3:38 PM

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When we spoke with Los Primos owner Miguel Collado in March about how the widening of Alston Avenue could affect his grocery at the corner of East Main Street and Alston Avenue, he was hesitant to talk. Los Primos had been one of five convenience stores whose employees had been charged in February with selling stolen and counterfeit merchandise. Collado was not implicated in the theft ring, but two other Los Primos employees were charged.

Los Primos forfeited its ABC license after the Durham police sting, and back in March, Collado said his store was a lot more peaceful without beer and wine sales. From our story:

"Beer is 2 percent of our sales in this store," Collado said. "We sell more meats and groceries than beer." In fact, he said, the store has been so peaceful without beer sales—without people begging or employees having to chase shoplifters—that he's considering not selling it again. "It's been a blessing," he said.

But it looks like Collado's plans have changed. On Thursday, Collado and employee Rafael de la Cruz applied for an ABC permit, said Durham police Officer John Massimo, who solicited public input on the permit application from the district's Partners Against Crime group. Collado was not immediately available for comment.

There was nothing barring employees of the store from applying for a permit, Massimo said. But a background investigation and comments from neighbors will likely lessen the chances it is approved. In most cases, it takes about four weeks for police officials to gather public comment and background information and decide whether to approve a permit, said Massimo, the towing inspector and permit coordinator for the Durham police.

De la Cruz is still facing pending charges of possessing counterfeit trademarked items, organized retail theft and permitting unlawful activities on an ABC-licensed premise. He is required to appear in Durham district court on June 9.

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