JEFFERSON-A video depicting an undercover Ashe County Sheriff’s deputy posing as an intoxicated customer recently aired on a Virginia television station newscast.
The WCYB footage shows Ashe County Sheriff’s Deputy Jeremy Munday attempting to buy alcohol from store clerks in Johnson County, Tenn., under the guise of intoxication.
The innovative approach, part of a Johnson County Sheriff’s Office investigation, was radical in the sense it differed from many other undercover stings.
Similar undercover investigations might see an underage person attempting to buy alcohol from a clerk who knew the person was younger than 21 years old.
Although the investigation is outside Munday’s jurisdiction, Ashe County Sheriff James Williams approved the request.
“He (Munday) lives in the upper end of the county,” said Williams. “He knows a lot of those boys (from Tennessee). We’ve worked back and forth with Johnson County on drug investigations before. They just asked if he would be willing to help out.”
Williams said he did not have any reservations about Munday participating in the investigation.
“The way it was set up, he wasn’t drunk and he wasn’t driving,” said Williams. “They (other officers) were with him every second.”
As a result, six Tennessee clerks were brought to trial on charges of selling to a visibly intoxicated customer.
Ultimately, a judge dismissed four cases and acquitted two other individuals by ruling the clerks could not tell if Munday was visibly intoxicated.
Reach Jesse Campbell at 336-846-7164.