A Northeast Mississippi lady has been going around Lee County, impersonating management at various companies, and even an Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) agent.
Alicia Mone Brooks, of Columbus, now sits in the Lee County Jail, charged with the misdemeanor charges of impersonating a law enforcement officer and petit larceny.
Brooks entered a West Main Street liquor store, presented what a employee, Ward Gallagher, thought were ABC credentials and said she had proof the store had been selling to minors.
“She said she was there, as an agent, to gather samples of all the alcohol and supplied a list of what she ‘wanted,” Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson said. “The store employee supposedly contacted the manager, owner of the store, told them what happened and was instructed to give her (Brooks) what she asked for. “The employee actually helped her load the liquor into her vehicle.”
The liquor store owner, later that same day, contacted real ABC Agent Pat Daily. Daily confirmed Brooks, 27, was not an agent and asked the store to produce a cash register receipt which revealed the total amount of alcohol missing — $371.98.
“Agent Bailey came by and told us about this particular case. They (ABC) were having trouble finding out who this particular person was, but had some good images and video of her,” Johnson said. “So we offered our assistance. We put the image up on our social media site and within less than an hour, our office was contacted by an individual who claimed to be the person in the photograph.”
Brooks was Mirandized and she gave a voluntary written statement that she had impersonated a law enforcement officer, an ABC agent, admitting she told this to a store employee and the credentials she really presented was a bartenders training card, but said it was ABC credentials and that she knowingly removed liquor from the store without paying for any of it. Also during the course of the investigation she alleged another individual was involved, and had devised the scheme to get the liquor.
“My understanding is there is the possibility of two other locations where she (Brooks) went in and posed as a managerial person within a company,” Johnson said.
The affidavits and arrest warrants were presented to Lee County Justice Court Judge Chuck Hopkins and signed. Hopkins set Brooks bond at $1,400 but an investigative hold was placed on her for a Tupelo Police Department (TPD) investigation.
The sheriff says it is OK for a business owner to check out someone, who claims to be with a particular law enforcement agency.
“There is nothing wrong with questioning them. If someone comes in, in plain clothes and you aren’t sure — there’s nothing wrong with asking questions. You should as a protector of your business, verify who the person is. Our officers have photo IDs with the Lee County Sheriff’s Department logo on them,” Johnson said. “On the flip side, once they show the proper ID and they’re there to do an investigation — it’s best to go along with them, and cooperative with them.”
This is an ongoing joint investigation by the LCSD, ABC and TPD. If you have any information related to this case, please call crimestoppers 1-877-303-TIPS.