Earlier this month, Dallas Police reported finding the body of 18-year-old Jonathan Sierra in a room at the Aloft Hotel downtown, across from Dallas City Hall. DPD suspected that the Skyline senior, who'd been to his senior prom and was all set to graduate, died of alcohol poisoning. At the time, DPD also said it was investigating who provided Sierra with the alcohol, and that criminal charges could be brought against those responsible.
This morning, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission released the results of its joint investigation with the DPD. The TABC says two people were taken into custody yesterday while another remains at large. The release also reminds that selling or providing alcohol to a minor is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $4,000 and/or up to a year in jail. Says the TABC:
The investigation revealed that alcoholic beverages had been provided to the group by three persons:
- The first arrest affidavit alleges that Malissa Cheng (age 54) sold two cases of beer to a 17-year-old male on April 30, 2011, at Trinity Drive In Grocery located at 5011 Military Parkway, Suite A, Dallas, Texas. The beer that was sold to the teenager was among the alcohol consumed by the underage group of students. Cheng was placed under arrest on May 19, 2011, for the sale of alcohol to a minor.
- The second arrest affidavit alleges that Jose Pulido (age 27) purchased two bottles of liquor on April 30, 2011, and furnished them to his underage brother for the after-prom party attended by Jonathan. Pudilo was placed under arrest on May 19, 2011, for providing alcohol to a minor.
- The third arrest affidavit alleges that a 24-year-old male purchased and furnished two bottles of liquor to his 18-year-old cousin. The teenager took the bottles to the party where they were consumed by the underage group of students, including Jonathan. The third suspect is still at large with an outstanding warrant for providing alcohol to a minor.
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TABC's also prepping an admin case against the Trinity Grocery, since selling alcohol to a minor could result in the yanking of its license. Reminds TABC Assistant Chief of Enforcement Rod Venner, "There is nothing innocent about giving alcoholic beverages to minors for special occasions. It doesn't enhance the experience, and in this instance, it ended in tragedy."