Lee County deputies bust underage drinking party

By JB Clark/NEMS Daily Journal

MOOREVILLE – Lee County Sheriff’s deputies charged a Belden man with selling alcoholic beverages without a permit during a Saturday party that involved underage drinking.
The 21-year-old Belden man was allegedly selling wristbands to anyone who wanted to drink at the 414 County Road 1439 party.
A 39-year-old Mooreville man was charged under the social host law because minors were being served alcohol.
Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson said investigators learned of the party through a Facebook event page and tips from concerned Lee County students and parents.
Deputies served a search warrant at the party before it was in full swing.
“Once there, we were able to prevent a lot of kids from ever entering in this atmosphere,” Johnson said. “We stopped them at the road, contacted parents, and made sure no one left that was intoxicated.”
Johnson estimated 150 people were at the party when they arrived, not counting those who fled into the woods as they pulled up or were turned away, and the majority were under 21.
Investigators said attendees were between 16 years of age and their mid-30s.
“This is probably the first I have seen that is promoting such a blatantly illegal act,” Johnson said of the Facebook page. “They invited us, so we went.”
jb.clark@journalinc.com