Press Releases

Large Underage Drinking Party/Possession Of Stolen Property (Charges Filed)

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A beer pong table is pictured in a Morgan Drive home where a large underage drinking party was held on July 21. Two adults and eight juveniles are now facing charges as a result (Sparta Police Photo). Credits: Photo Courtesy of Sparta Township Police Department
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Sparta Police have charged two adults and eight juveniles with a variety of charges in reference to a large underage drinking party on July 21st.  At 9:22 pm that evening police were dispatched to a residence on Morgan Drive to investigate noise and parking complaints.  When officers arrived they found approximately 125 underage individuals engaged in a large drinking party.
While police were investigating they found in the backyard of the property 96 yard ornaments and statues that had been reported stolen by numerous residents over the past several weeks.  The residence is owned by 50-year-old Cheryl Work.
 
Work who had initially told police that she was unaware that such a large party was going on in her home.  She had claimed she was upstairs watching TV and thought there were only 20 people in the residence.  When she was questioned about the large amount of stolen property in her backyard, she told police that the kids had told her that they had purchased the items at local garage sales.
 

Police located and identified all the party goers.  They then started making contact with all their parents.   Arrangements were then made to get the kids home safely.  In the home there were three kegs of beer and numerous bottles of consumed and partially consumed bottles of liquor. The juveniles were charged $5.00 at the door.  Their hands were then given a red mark with a sharpie pen and they were given a plastic solo cup to drink beer out of.
 
Numerous small bags of marijuana along with paraphernalia were dropped on the floor when the officers entered the home. A black JanSport backpack was abandoned in a hallway of the home. Inside the backpack contained; an open bottle of Hennessy Cognac, a glass water pipe used to inhale marijuana, a large ziplock plastic bag which contained numerous smaller ziplock bags filled with marijuana, a grinder and a digital scale.  The bag was logged into evidence and the investigation into this aspect is still continuing.  Numerous pieces of drug paraphernalia such as; bongs, smoking pipes and packaging materials were found through out the home and in the backyard.
 
Detective Keith Hannam has charged five Sparta girls, all 17-years-of age with Juvenile Delinquency Complaints reflecting two charges, Theft of Movable Property and Possession of Stolen Property.  It is alleged that these girls entered onto numerous private properties in the middle of the night during the past month and stole the many garden statues and gnomes that were recovered in the backyard of the home on Morgan drive.  These complaints will be heard at a date and time yet to be determined in Newton Superior Court, Family Division. 
 
Cpl. William Moyle has charged the Homeowner, 50-year-old Cheryl Work with; Offering Alcoholic Beverages to Persons under the Legal Age to Consume Alcohol. 21-year-old Dennis Stewart of Newton has been charged with two counts of; Purchasing Alcohol for Minors.  One count alleges that he purchased two kegs of beer from a liquor store in Newton.  The second count alleges that he purchased the third keg from liquor store in Sparta.  Both Work and Stewart have a first Appearance in Sparta Municipal Court, Monday August 13th at 6:00 pm to answer to the charges.
 
Cpl. Moyle also charged two 17-year-old Sparta Girls with Juvenile Delinquency Complaints. One girl was charged with; Serving Alcohol to Minors and the second girl was charged with Consuming Alcoholic Beverages.  It is alleged in this incident that she was found walking in the middle of the street while under the influence of alcohol.  She then gave the investigating officer a false name and address.  She was transported to Police Headquarters where she was later identified and then turned over to her parents.  Fortunately through out the duration of this party, no one was injured or required medical attention 
 
Most of the stolen property has been returned to the victims.  However there are still 10 statues still unclaimed.  Anyone who has not claimed their property or have not yet reported it stolen, you are urged to contact  Det. Hannam at 973-729-3017    
 

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