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Officials close mart for code violations
Store owner faces unrelated charges
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Forsyth County News
Authorities have closed a Cumming convenience store for multiple fire violations and charged its owner in unrelated matters.
Rakesh Suryavanshi, 32, owner of the TJ Mart/Lotto on Hutchinson Road, faces charges for selling alcoholic beverages to an underage customer, breaking packages and consumption on the premises.
Forsyth County Sheriff's Lt. David Waters said authorities had received several complaints about the store selling alcohol to customers under the age of 21.
"We did an investigation by utilizing a minor that had permission from his parents," Waters said. "We sent him in and he purchased a 12-pack of Bud Light without showing any type of identification and he is in fact under 21."
Waters said the sale is a violation of state law and county ordinance.
He explained that the breaking packages charge was for selling alcoholic beverages individually.
"It has to be sold packaged as it came, exactly the way a store receives it from distributors," he said. "They can not divide it up or split it up."
Authorities say they also found empty containers of alcoholic beverages at the store.
Waters said he called the Forsyth County Fire Department after he noticed what he thought were fire code violations in the store.
Capt. Kevin Wallace, the county's deputy fire marshal, said the store failed to meet the state's minimum fire code and was shut down for 12 ordinance violations. He said the violations "included a lot of electrical issues."
Wallace said there is no time limit on when the store can re-open. But fire code issues will have to be resolved and the store must pass an inspection before it's back in business.
Lt. Col. Gene Moss, director of the sheriff's law enforcement bureau, said additional charges could be brought against Suryavanshi as part of an ongoing investigation.
Suryavanshi was released Tuesday from the Forsyth County Detention Center on $56,000 bond.