Corner Bar loses liquor license

HOLLIDAYSBURG – An Altoona businessman who was arrested as part of the investigation into a drug ring that operated out of the Corner Bar at 1001 Eighth Ave. has forfeited his liquor license, according to records in the office of the Blair County Prothonotary and Clerk of Courts.

Brian P. Stroh, 38, was among those arrested last February and March as part of an Attorney General’s Office drug investigation called Operation Last Call.

Stroh was the owner of the liquor license for the Corner Bar, although the building in which the bar is located has separate owners who were not involved in Operation Last Call.

Altoona attorney Steven P. Passarello confirmed Friday that Stroh, both as an individual and as the owner of Bubba LLC, owner of the liquor license, agreed to forfeit it.

According to Senior Deputy Attorney General Robert B. Stewart III, his office will sell the license.

Stewart said he doesn’t know the worth of the license but said in many cases, items confiscated by the Attorney General’s Office are sold through a bidding process.

He said the attorney general has a special unit that oversees confiscated items, including money, seized as the result of drug prosecutions.

Police in late 2011 and early 2012 concluded a massive investigation into drug trafficking that involved the sale of cocaine brought to the area from Baltimore.

The leader of the organization allegedly was Damion Floyd, 33, who allegedly operated the drug ring while serving time in the State Correctional Institution at Camp Hill for a prior drug arrest.

Fourteen individuals were charged in the case including Stroh, who was known as Bubba, because police believed the headquarters for the drug operation was the Corner Bar.

Although several individuals associated with Operation Last Call have entered pleas, Stroh’s charges remain outstanding.

He faces four charges of possession with intent to deliver cocaine, two counts of conspiracy, participation in a corrupt organization, dealing in unlawful proceeds and criminal use of a communication facility.

A stipulation signed by Stewart, Passarello and Stroh was dated Jan. 4. It was filed Friday with the Prothonotary’s Office.

All agreed the liquor license issued to Bubba LLC “is subject to forfeiture under the Controlled Substances Forfeiture Act.”

The transfer of the liquor license to the state is a civil action, and the papers that were signed made clear “this stipulation shall not be constituted as an admission on the part of Brian Stroh in any criminal matter.”

In signing the papers, Stroh gave up his rights to a jury trial and a forfeiture hearing.

The first jury trial in the Operation Last Call case is to be held this month.