Butcher at Carniceria Puebla grocery store accused of selling beer illegally from behind counter

Jose Motolinia, 40, cited

INDIANAPOLIS - It took nearly three years, but Indiana State Excise Police officers said they've raided a west side Indianapolis grocery that was selling more than sliced meat from the butcher's counter.

Police told the Call 6 Investigators they received a tip in June 2010 that the Carniceria Puebla neighborhood grocery store on West Michigan Street was selling alcoholic beverages without a permit.

Undercover officers said they sent an informant in two months later and he was able to buy six bottles of Corona for $15.

No charges were filed, but undercover officers returned one month ago, and they said a cashier directed them to the store's butcher counter.

The undercover officers wrote in a search warrant that they were able to buy another six bottles of Corona for $15 from a man wearing a butcher's apron. 

They returned in mid-February on two separate occasions, when they said the butcher sold them six bottles on each visit.

Excise police then raided the business, confiscating 122 six-ounce bottles of Corona and Modelo beer. Officers also confiscated $400 that they said was derived from alcohol sales to people in the neighborhood.

Cpl. Travis Thickstun told the Call 6 Investigators that eight criminal citations were issued against the butcher, Jose Motolinia, 40, of Indianapolis. He was ticketed for misdemeanor counts of selling alcoholic beverages without a license and selling alcohol at an unlawful time.

Officers said they found the beer bottles tucked into drawers beneath the meat cooler display. An open bottle of wine was also confiscated in the raid.

The business remains open.

The latest figures from Indiana State Excise Police show 38 citations statewide for the sale of alcohol without a permit in 2012. That was an 80.9 percent jump from the 21 citations in 2011.

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