Metro police have cracked what they are calling a sophisticated operation at a west Nashville convenience store where minors would offer clerks $40 in exchange for a case of beer.
Amen Naguib, a clerk at the Stop and Shop Tobacco and Beer store on White Bridge Road, was arrested Friday on three misdemeanor charges after undercover underage decoys were able to purchase beer from him.
Store owner Wael Timothawes was also cited, but not arrested, for selling beer to an underage decoy the same day.
In video of one of the underage buys, the decoy enters the store and asks to purchase a 24-pack of Bud Light.
Naguib checks the decoy's identification and initially declines the purchase.
The decoy says, “No? Not even for $40?”
Naguib can be heard replying, “Who told you about here?”
The decoy replies, “Friends from school.”
Naguib asks the decoy where he goes to school. The decoy tells him Belmont. Naguib can then be heard asking, “Not MBA?”
MBA is a reference to Montgomery Bell Academy.
The headmaster of the all-boys private school, Bradford Gioia, declined to comment on the beer buy because he was not aware of it. He said he does not comment on criminal matters involving students.
According to Naguib's arrest record, he was caught two other times selling beer to minors.
One was another decoy and one was a 16-year-old Ensworth High School student.
Metro police arrested the Ensworth student after they witnessed the student purchase beer on Friday.
Police pulled the student over and, during the traffic stop, allegedly found marijuana packaged for resale along with drug paraphernalia.
There was also a 19-year-old inside the car who was given a misdemeanor citation.
Ensworth did not immediately respond when contacted for comment. Students begin their Thanksgiving holiday break Wednesday.
Police say students from Montgomery Bell Academy, Ensworth and Father Ryan high schools have all illegally bought beer at store.
It was a Father Ryan High School student's father who tipped off police to the operation after he caught his child with beer. The parent found out where and how the child bought the alcohol.
The Nashville Prevention Partnership, which works in conjunction with Metro police, told News 2 they had been investigating the store for several months. Finding out about the “$40 Deal” helped the undercover decoys uncover the illegal sells.
“That is so important for us because sometimes we would never be able to catch some of these people because they have such elaborate schemes going on,” Executive Director DeWayne Holman said.
He added, “Our kids are really our treasure, and if we mess that up the future is not going to look too bright.”
The Stop and Shop Tobacco and Beer store was also cited in August 2013 for selling to a minor. Timothawes paid a $2,500 fine for that infraction.
Tuesday, when News 2 went to the store, Timothawes first denied the underage sales, but when he was told about the video, he said it was a mistake.
“It was a mistake,” he said. “The guy [came] to me and the guy looked old to me.”
Timothawes is a parent. News 2 asked how he would feel if he found out a business sold one of his children beer.
“I would feel bad,” he said. “I won't do that.”
Timothawes said Naguib was still working for him when initially asked, but later said he fired the clerk.
Naguib is due in court on December 11 at 8:30 a.m.
Both men will have to appear in front of the Metro Beer Permit Board on December 5.
The board could cite the business, fine the owner again and or suspend the business' beer permit.