FORT MILL -- A 21-year-old college student was fined more than $10,000 on Saturday after police said he hosted an illegal party at a hotel restaurant that also produced several alcohol violations.
Christopher Marquis Jackson, 21, of 2766 Ramble Wood Court in Rock Hill was cited for charging admission to a party without a permit, Lt. Jason Dalton of the York County Multijurisdictional Drug Enforcement Unit said. The party was held at the Gold Rusher Grille in the Plaza Hotel at 225 Carowinds Blvd. Jackson was a promoter for the party, authorities said.
The S.C. Department of Revenue fined Jackson $10,500, Dalton said.
"Instead of going through the proper licensing and channels with the Department of Revenue, he was trying to operate under someone else's retail license," Dalton said. "That's illegal, and that's why he was fined."
Never miss a local story.
Jackson is scheduled to meet with the Department of Revenue this week, Dalton said.
Authorities went to the restaurant around 12:20 a.m. as part of a joint investigation involving the Multijurisdictional Drug Enforcement Unit, the Rock Hill Police Department, the York County Sheriff's Office, the State Law Enforcement Division and the Department of Revenue.
Jackson, a student at Winthrop University, couldn't be reached for comment Saturday. He could face additional fines based on past parties and unreported revenue, Dalton said.
Police have experienced problems with promoters illegally charging admission to parties for several years, Dalton said. Within the past six months, police have shut down six such parties.
"Numerous promoters have been warned but did not heed our warnings and continue to operate, so we had to make a point," Dalton said. "We do not want any of those types of parties in the county."
In addition to Jackson, Gold Rusher Grille manager Guillermo Villanueva was charged with unlawful possession of liquor. He could face a fine of several hundred dollars, Dalton said.
Betty Chavis Kepley, a Gold Rusher Grille bartender, was cited with unlawful sale of beer, the report states. Neither Guillermo nor Kepley was available for comment Saturday.
At Saturday's party, officials seized 1,008 bottles of beer, 76 bottles of liquor, 46 bottles of wine coolers and four bottles and one box of wine, according to the report. Police also seized 4 grams of marijuana as well as more than $1,100 from the bar, the report states.
Three people -- two 20-year-old men from Charlotte and a 19-year-old Winnsboro man -- were charged with unlawful possession of liquor or beer. A 20-year-old Rock Hill man also faces a charge of underage possession of beer.
Mitch Potthoff, Plaza Hotel operational manager, said the Department of Revenue has talked with Gold Rusher Grille about its license. The hotel leases the space to the restaurant.
"We've told them they're not allowed to have any more parties where they pay at the door," Potthoff said.
In an unrelated incident around 11:30 p.m. Friday, authorities shut down a party at Union Hall at 1031 Mount Gallant Road in Rock Hill for revenue and open-bar violations, Dalton said. In that case, authorities say an illegal admission also was being charged, and alcohol was being stored improperly because there was an open bar.
"We are going to turn over the findings of that party to the Department of Revenue to see what fines need to be assessed," Dalton said.