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Store clerk arrested for selling minor alcohol before fatal crash

August 6, 2018

A shopkeeper is facing criminal charges for allegedly selling a bottle of alcohol to a 17-year-old who was then involved in an accident that killed two Atascocita girls.

Gumaro Munoz Campos, 29, is charged with one count of Sale of Alcoholic Beverage to a Minor, a misdemeanor, according to a law enforcement source familiar with the case. If convicted, Campos could face up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 dollars, and his license suspended for up to 180 days.

The arrest follows the July 25 crash that claimed the lives of Chloe Robison and Salma Gomez, both 16. After the wreck, police said Jaggar Clayton Smith, 17, had purchased MD 20/20, a fortified wine, and then drove drunk and crashed around 12:30 a.m. along the 18300 block of Timber Forest, near Atascocita Road, hitting a tree so hard it tore the car in half.

Smith faces two counts of intoxication manslaughter, and could face up to 40 years in prison if convicted on both charges.

Texas leads the nation in lives lost to drunk driving crashes, with 3,776 drunk-driving related fatalities in 2016. That same year, Houston led the state with 89 fatal DUI crashes, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

The arrest is the latest in a series of similar prosecutions meant to crack down on establishments that flout state liquor laws or serve alcohol to teens or impaired patrons. After a drunk driving crash in February that claimed the life of a 36-year-old Clear Lake woman and her infant son, prosecutors arrested three people -- including a Clear Lake bartender -- and charged them with crimes ranging from criminal negligence, failing to check IDs, knowingly purchasing and providing alcohol to a minor and lying to a grand jury.

“We’ve always gone after the driver,” Harris County DA Kim Ogg said in April, “but we think communities want more. This is extraordinary and (the defendants) are going to face serious criminal penalty.”

In June, prosecutors filed a civil lawsuit to shut down a Houston bar Ogg labeled a “crime factory” because of repeated criminal behavior linked to over serving alcohol to customers.

The establishment, Bombshells, closed briefly, and was only allowed to reopen after agreeing to a joint temporary restraining order that requires the bar to employ off-duty police officers and keeping a computerized tally of drinks consumed by customers, among other restrictions.

A civil trial is set for next year which could force permanent closure of the business.

T: @stjbs

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