April 2, 2012
News Release Contact:
Kathleen Shaw - (804) 213-4640
Virginia ABC Agents Bust Nip Joint In Norfolk
- Collaborative effort between ABC and Norfolk Police culminates in nip joint bust in Norfolk.
- Twenty people are arrested; five felony and 32 misdemeanor charges issued in connection with the bust.
RICHMOND – Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) special agents with assistance from the Norfolk Police Department arrested three adults in connection with an undercover investigation into the illegal sale of alcohol at an unlicensed establishment, commonly known as a “nip joint” or “shot house,” in Norfolk, Va. last week.
ABC special agents and Norfolk police executed a search warrant on Wednesday, March 28 at a residence in the 300 block of West 28th Street, and arrested Calvin Weatherspoon, Jr., 46, Paulette Purdie, 48, and Lawrence Cobb, 59, all of Norfolk. They were charged with the following:
- Calvin Weatherspoon, Jr., residence owner: four counts of maintaining a common nuisance, four counts of aiding and abetting the illegal sale of alcoholic beverages, and possession of a dangerous weapon with illegal activity (class 6 felony).
- Paulette Purdie: two counts of maintaining a common nuisance, and two counts of the illegal sale of alcoholic beverages.
- Lawrence Cobb: possession of a firearm by a convicted felon (class 6 felony), illegal possession with intent to distribute cocaine (class u felony); illegal possession with intent to distribute marijuana (class 5 felony); possession of a firearm with a controlled substance (class 6 felony); and frequenting a common nuisance.
In addition, 17 patrons of the residence were charged with frequenting a common nuisance, and one patron was charged with illegal possession of marijuana. In total, five felony and 32 misdemeanor charges were issued in connection with the bust. Class 1 misdemeanors are punishable by up to a $2,500 fine and/or up to one year in jail. Class 6 felonies are punishable by one to five years in jail or up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500, either or both. Class 5 felonies are punishable by one to ten years in jail or up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500, either or both.
Three firearms, more than $8,500 in U.S. currency, several ounces of cocaine and 30 grams of marijuana were seized during the search. ABC special agents successfully purchased alcohol, including beer and distilled spirits, on several occasions during the two-week investigation.
Weatherspoon, Purdie and Cobb were booked at the Norfolk City Jail.