State liquor licensing agency suspends license of Charleston bar where arrests made

Charleston police respond to the Park Place bar on the West Side where they say four people were arrested. The state liquor licensing agency has now suspended the bar's license. (WCHS/WVAH)

Charleston police said they have made at least nine arrests after a raid at a West Side bar that has now had its license suspended by a state agency.

Police say there have been hundreds of calls for police in and near the Park Place bar they raided Tuesday night. Detectives describe it as an open drug market, but said they had to wait until they had enough evidence to hopefully -- in their view-- close it permanently.

They were aware of neighborhood complaints. Lt. Steve Cooper, chief of detectives, says they reached a tipping point where the evidence was strong enough to move and waiting risked more violent crime.

“The Park place bar was ground zero for criminal activity, drug activity and even violent crime,” Cooper said.

Meanwhile, Gig Robinson, spokesman for the West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Administration, said the agency’s decision to suspend the bar’s license for 10 days was “intended to send a strong message to Park Place, but also to communities across West Virginia that illegal drugs, illegal activities will not be tolerated in an ABCA-licensed establishment. "

Liquor regulators served the suspension order on owner Steve Fisher in jail, where he and manager Christine Beish were under arrest on a charge of unlawful acts of licensees. That translates into the allegation they thought they were buying stolen beer. The seller was a confidential informant working for Charleston's Special Enforcement Unit.

Police released a list of the people who have been arrested related to the raid. Here is a list and the charges they face:

  • Steve Carl Fisher, five counts of unlawful acts of licensees
  • Christine Ann Beish, 15 counts of unlawful acts of licensees
  • James Townsend, also known as “Whitey,” six counts of distribution of crack cocaine and one count of distribution of marijuana
  • Frances Foye, one count of distribution of crack cocaine and municipal court capias, no insurance.
  • Ronald Lee Henderson, simple possession of marijuana
  • Charles Christopher Poore, municipal court capias, marijuana, first offense, suspended operators, speeding, seat belt
  • Deshane Robbins, simple possession of marijuana and state warrant, battery
  • Shannon Lee Brown, state warrant, child support, and municipal court capias, battery
  • Miranda Campbell, simple possession of marijuana and municipal court capias, suspended operators
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