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The ABC's controversial and illegal use of minors to try and purchase alcoholic beverages landed on of their illegal operatives, Scott Butler,  in hot water back in the summer of 2008.

Butler was 19 years old at the time and had attended Mills High School when the ABC hired him to break the law and try and purchase alcoholic beverages.

Butler then tried to use his position as an ABC undercover minor to strike a deal with some restaurants in Maumelle.  Butler told these folks if they would give him stuff, he would not "bust" them if they sold him booze in the ABC's entrapment activities at their restaurants.
The restaurant owners complained to the Maumelle Police Department and charges were filed against Butler.

Butler was charged under Arkansas Code Annotated  §5-52-106 Soliciting unlawful compensation.

In August 2008, Butler was found guilty in District Court in Maumelle and fined $625.00.

Apparently Butler had some issues as he was selected to participate in the Arkansas National Guard Youth Challenge Program.  The program is for troubled youth.


According to newspaper articles about the incident, the ABC did not have correct information about Butler and could not provide the Maumelle Police Department with very much information about Butler. 

Not much has changed at the ABC, its still a place for out to pasture, tainted law enforcement officers that couldn't get a job anywhere else. 

The use of cooperating minors by the ABC to purchase alcoholic beverage violates Arkansas Code Annotated   § 3-3-203, Purchase or possession by minor, which in part states:

"(a) (1) It is unlawful for any person under twenty-one (21) years of age to purchase or have in his or her possession any intoxicating liquor, wine, or beer."

There is no exception to the statue for law enforcement purposes. It might also be argued that parents and/or ABC enforcement agents are violating Arkansas Maltreatment Laws, specifically neglect, by placing these children in potentially dangerous situations and encouraging them and even paying them to break a state law.

A Standford Law Review article says that breaking the law to catch lawbreakers is authorized criminality:

"This practice of authorized criminality is secret, unaccountable, and in conflict with some of the basic premises of democratic policing. And to the extent that authorized criminality presents mixed messages about their moral standing, it undermines social support for the police. While the practice isn’t new, authorized criminality raises fundamental questions about the limits of acceptable police conduct and has been too long ignored…"

The primary rule of statutory construction is to give effect to the intent of the legislature. Snowden v. JRE Invs., Inc., 2010 Ark. 276, 370 S.W. 3d 215. We must construe the statue jest as it reads, giving the words their ordinary and usually accepted meaning in common language. Id.  When the language of a statue is plain and unambiguous and conveys a clear and definite meaning, there is no need to resort to rules of statutory interpretation. Id.  Evans v. Hamby, 2011 Ark. 69, 378 S.W. 3rd 723.

What these means for us non-lawyers, is that Arkansas Code Annotated   § 3-3-203 states that it is illegal for a person under 21 to purchase, try to purchase to possess liquor, wine or beer.  And ABC Enforcement Agents are a party to illegal activity when they use minors to try and entrap permit holders to sell these under age law breakers booze.

It is only a matter of time before a smart permit holder fights back and challenges the ABC's illegal use of undercover minors.

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