Strip club raided

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 5, 1999

Four Southern Belles employees were arrested and six others cited during a raid Thursday night.

The Adams County Sheriff’s Department closed down the strip club and charged a bartender, the deejay and two dancers with being in a facility that had both nude dancing and alcohol.

&uot;Alcohol was present on the premises, and that is a violation,&uot; said Sheriff Tommy Ferrell.

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Owner Curtis Coble said the cabaret and lounge, located on U.S. 61 North, were celebrating a first-year anniversary this weekend with a featured dancer. That was not the reason for the raid, Ferrell said.

&uot;This is the result of ongoing complaints from governing officials and the general public,&uot; Ferrell said.

Two dancers, Eva Denise Scott, 22, of Ridgeland and Lucy Rebecca Smith, 28, of 1348 Lower Woodville Road, were released on $500 recognizance bonds.

Also released on recognizance wre bartender Tammy Ainsworth, 39, 629-D U.S. 61 North, and manager and deejay Joseph Carson, 44, 105 Creekbend Road, Apt. C-24.

&uot;This has been an ongoing investigation since the ordinance was passed,&uot; Ferrell said. &uot;This is not the first raid out there and will not be the last.&uot;

Because he is underage, Ernest Trasp, 19, of 105 Creekbend Road, who is Carson’s son, was one of the six people who were cited.

The dancers who were cited include Lisa Blas, Shannon Buhler, Lacey Hobson, Shayne Sabage and Kathy L. Martin.

These dancers only received citations because they were only observed partly nude. The two arrested were totally nude, Ferrell said.

The sheriff’s department seized the bar’s license, its liquor license, more than 20 cases of beer and several bottles of hard liquor.

Ferrell said the bar and cabaret have been closed indefinitely, but Coble said he plans to now have dancing without alcohol.

&uot;I will be open and have nude dance,&uot; Coble said.

Southern Belles opened in April 1998, but the county adopted an ordinance in May 1998 prohibiting alcohol with adult entertainment.

But Coble said he is obeying the ordinance by operating two separate but adjacent businesses.

One is a lounge that has been open since November, while the caberet has nude dancing. Coble said he does not sell or allow alcohol in the dancing area.

&uot;All the alcohol was in the lounge and all the dancers were in the cabaret,&uot; Coble said of Thursday’s incident.

He said local law enforcement trying to destroy his business.

&uot;They picked this weekend because they knew I had a feature entry,&uot; Coble said. &uot;They accomplished what they wanted to do last night (which was) to harass me, to harass the employees and to harass the customers.&uot;

Ferrell would not say where they found alcohol but said Coble cannot avoid the ordinance by running two separate businesses.