Five arrested in Newnan 'shot house,' fraudulent tax return operation
BY ELIZABETH MELVILLE
Five people were arrested in Newnan Sunday after authorities discovered that they were operating a "shot house" for sale of alcohol and a fraudulent tax return operation.
Authorities believe the five were undocumented, illegal aliens, according to Coweta County Sheriff Mike Yeager.
The arrests Sunday were carried out jointly by members of the Coweta County Sheriff's Office and Newnan Police Department. Authorities executed a search warrant at 6 Glenn St. in Newnan on Sunday shortly after noon after they learned that the victim in a fatal shooting that occurred earlier in the day -- Ceasar Herrera Valezquez, 29 -- had visited the shot house shortly before he was gunned down at the Valley mobile home park on U.S. Highway 29 south.
A shot house is a house where alcohol is illegally sold by the drink. During the search warrant, authorities seized a total of 632 bottles of beer packaged in groups of 10, according to Detective-Sergeant Danny McDonald of the Newnan Police Department.
"They were doing good business," said McDonald.
In addition to finding multiple packages of beer, they also discovered that the occupants of the home were creating fraudulent tax returns in order to steal money from the Internal Revenue Service, according to Yeager. Additionally, police found money and guns, according to Major James Yarbrough of the sheriff's office.
"We worked with the Newnan Police Department side by side on this and not only uncovered a shot house, but a place where fraudulent tax returns were being filed," said the sheriff.
Maria Garcia-Torres, 39; Mario Giron, 22; and Vincente Yoval-Martinez, 39, were all arrested for disorderly house. Benito Villanueva, 58; and Sara Martinez Aguilar, 49, were both charged with disorderly house and sale of alcohol without a license under Newnan's ordinance.
"Our victim in this shooting also received several thousands of dollars in fraudulent tax claims," said Yeager.
The sheriff's office is now working with U.S. Secret Service examining the evidence seized at the Glenn Street residence Sunday, according to Yeager. Charges, including theft by deception relating to the tax fraud, are pending the result of the government investigation.
"Apparently, our government is sending thousands of dollars in checks to undocumented, illegal aliens with no questions asked," said Yeager. "It's just unbelievable that the citizens of this country can work hard and file their taxes, be questioned about everything and then be lucky to get anything back. Here they are submitting illegal tax returns and our government is pouring out tens of thousands of dollars to them no questions asked."
"I'm all for an Arizona-type immigration law," Yeager continued. "The illegals are just milking us. People don't grasp the scope of what's going on out there."
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