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Scottsbluff liquor store owner accused of bootlegging through Wyoming store

Scottsbluff liquor store owner accused of bootlegging through Wyoming store

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Documents filed in Scotts Bluff County Court provide more details in the Nebraska State Patrol's investigation of a Scottsbluff business owner accused of bootlegging.

Kuldip Singh, 59, has been charged in Scotts Bluff County Court with 10 counts of transporting liquor into state, a Class IV misdemeanor; five counts of evading or attempt to evade liquor tax, a Class II misdemeanor; and five counts of acquiring liquor from someone other than a licensed dealer, a Class IV misdemeanor.

According to a search warrant affidavit filed by the Scotts Bluff County District Court, the Nebraska State Patrol received a complaint from the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission on April 30, 2019, after a wine and spirits wholesaler out of Omaha, Nebraska, reported that its employees had been kicked out of Cheema’s Gas & Liquor store in Scottsbluff. The representative had noticed that a Captain Morgan product had been on Singh’s shelves and he had not ordered the product from the company in a couple of years. The representative believed he had gotten the product from another store, possibly from a store he owned in Torrington.

The Nebraska State Patrol surveilled the business, from June 2019 to June 2020, allegedly observing deliveries of alcohol bottles transported in a vehicle owned by Singh. In August 2020, an investigator observed alcohol being removed from a vehicle owned by Carol Singh. The deliveries of alcohol occurred on several different incidents throughout the year.

In January 2020, the Scottsbluff Police Department also received a Crime Stoppers tip in which a former employee alleged that over a two-year period that Singh had funneled quantities of alcohol through his Wyoming store because the cost was cheaper than in Nebraska. The employee alleged that the liquor was being sold at stores owned by Singh in Scottsbluff and Bridgeport.

The Nebraska State Patrol investigator acquired records from the state of Wyoming, which serves as the wholesaler of all liquor, wine and spirits in that state, for the calendar year of 2019. Through those records, the investigator found that Singh had ordered more than $289,000 in liquor in 2019, which the investigator says in the affidavit that he believes to be excessive based on the population of the community.

According to a search warrant return, investigators seized more than 30 bottles of liquor from the Scottsbluff store.

An agenda for the upcoming Nebraska Liquor Commission hearing has not yet been announced, though records indicate that the commission has received reports about the Oct. 7 search on online listings of activity regarding the store.

Singh, who was cited following the Oct. 7 search of his store, is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges on Oct. 30, at 10:30 a.m.

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