Home Run owner surrenders liquor license to city
URBANA — The owner of Home Run Food Mart has surrendered the store's liquor license after alcohol sales were suspended following his arrest.
Mayor and Liquor Commissioner Laurel Prussing could have stripped the license from the store at 1509 E. Washington St. had she found cause to do so during a hearing scheduled Wednesday morning.
Instead, an attorney for the owner conceded the license within minutes of convening the proceeding.
Earlier this month, Urbana police arrested store owner Ramzi Alsaqri, 49; his brother, Jameel Alsaqri, 48; and employee Mohammed Mahmoud, 27. They are accused of selling $5 "brown bags" containing a piece of glass tubing, copper mesh and a lighter — items used to smoke crack cocaine — from the store on May 10 and 11.
The arrests were the result of a three-week investigation. The three men face felony charges and are due back in court on Aug. 7.
Last week, the store voluntarily suspended liquor sales while the status of the license was pending. Prussing said on Wednesday that police calls to the store dropped while they weren't selling alcohol.
"Over the years, we've had a lot of police calls related to that business," Prussing said.
Prussing said the owner may now look to sell the business. A new owner would not be able to obtain a liquor license without petitioning Prussing and the city council.