Three arrested for selling stolen liquor at Humboldt Park store

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Samuel Youkhana (left), Isho Youkhana (center) and Matthew Youkhana | Chicago Police

CHICAGO (STMW) - Three men have been arrested for selling stolen merchandise, including more than 100 bottles of high-end alcohol, at a Humboldt Park neighborhood store on the West Side.

Isho Youkhana, 64, of Des Plaines; and Samuel Youkhana, 68, of Northbrook, have been charged with continuing a financial criminal enterprise, money laundering and theft, all felonies, according to a statement from Chicago Police. Matthew Youkhana, 28, of Northbrook, has also been charged with theft.

The three were arrested at 7:02 a.m. Tuesday, when authorities executed 13 search warrants at Buy-Low Liquors at 4301 W. North Ave., the suspects’ homes and banks associated with the business, police said. Samuel Youkhana and Isho Youkhana are the owners and operators of the liquor store, while Matthew Youkhana is an employee.

The liquor store had become the target of an investigation after authorities learned it was receiving merchandise stolen from suburban retailers, then re-selling it, authorities said.

On 10 different occasions between Jan. 19 and Feb. 17, the suspects told an undercover police where liquor could be stolen from, according to a statement from the Cook County state’s attorney’s office. The undercover officer then sold stolen liquor to the suspects.

Undercover officers later went back to the store and bought the stolen liquor, which was worth more than $5,000, prosecutors said.

Of the 124 bottles the undercover officers sold to the suspects, 106 were recovered at the store, prosecutors said. Investigators also recovered an unregistered gun, ammunition and more than $100,000.

On Wednesday, all three men appeared in bond court, where Judge Peggy Chiampas ordered Isho Youkhana and Samuel Youkhana held on $50,000 bonds. Matthew Youkhana was ordered held on $25,000. They were all scheduled to appear in court March 23.

The Chicago Department of Buildings conducted an inspection of the liquor store, and the building was closed for “dangerous building code violations,” police said.