Local News

Brother of Local Mayor Charged With Selling Alcohol to a Minor

Posted October 8, 2000

— The brother of a local mayor is in trouble with the law, charged with selling alcohol to minors.

Aubrey Austin, 90, is owner of Aubrey Austin's Feed Store, a general store in downtown Four Oaks. After hearing rumors that minors could buy alcohol at his store, a Johnston County parent says he heard enough and took action.

"I don't want to see kids getting killed drinking and driving," says the parent, who is remaining anonymous.

The parent called theJohnston County Sheriff's Officeand volunteered his son to bust the source.

"I went directly there, bought everything. [What did you buy?] Wild Irish wine," says the 18-year-old.

"I checked his ID and found him to be underage and we were able to go back in and charge Mr. Austin with the violation," says Capt. David Daughtry of the Johnston County Sheriff's Office.

Austin was charged with sale of alcoholic beverages to a minor. Detectives say Austin claims he did not know the age limit had changed.

"Mr. Austin stated that he wasn't aware of the new law being 21 years of age. He was still presuming that it was 18 years of age like it was several years ago," says Daughtry.

Four Oaks is a small town where habits change slowly. Austin has run the store in Four Oaks for decades. His family owns prominent business in town and his brother, Jack, is the mayor.

Four Oaks Police say they did not know of the underage alcohol sales at Austin's store. That is not enough for the parent of four who says alcohol is a problem among teens.

I'm sure there is a problem with underage drinking in this town and every other town. Kids get bored and they see their parents drink and they think it's an adult thing to do, " he says.

Mayor Austin says he believes his brother was set up set up for political purposes.

Sale of alcohol to a minor is a misdemeanor. Austin faces a judge in November.

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