Crossing the border for cheap booze? Stakeouts and stings at New Hampshire’s state-run liquor stores
NEW HAMPSHIRE — Around noon on November 9th of last year, a Black Chevy Suburban pulled up to a New Hampshire liquor store. The driver, a 46-year old Queens, New York resident named Juncheng Chen, bought some booze, then headed off to another liquor store to make another purchase.
Then another, then another. In total, Chen bought liquor at six different New Hampshire stores that afternoon.
Chen didn’t know it, but he was being watched.
A criminal investigator with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance was trailing him from store to store, and then southbound on the highway. When Chen crossed the border back into New York, the investigator contacted a State Trooper. Chen was pulled over with 757 liters of alcohol in his trunk, including more than 500 bottles of Hennessy cognac. He was arrested on felony charges for violating New York state law regarding importation of liquor.
New Hampshire’s state-run, tax free liquor stores draw in customers from across the Northeast.