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Cops bust server, patron

After a six-month undercover investigation, a bartender and a patron at the Brass Rail Tavern in North San Juan were arrested Wednesday night for selling drugs and dealing in stolen property.

Bartender Mary Jane Mang of Camptonville and carpenter James A. Foster of North San Juan were arrested at the bar after officers from the Alcoholic Beverage Control made one last marijuana buy in a series of several undercover drug deals, Nevada County Sheriff’s Narcotic Task Force Sgt. Bill Evans said Wednesday.

Mang and Foster had reportedly been accepting stolen cigarettes and liquor, re-selling them and selling marijuana to undercover agents for several months.



In addition to selling marijuana, Mang is also accused of selling methamphetamine to the undercover officers. Mang was arrested on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance, selling a controlled substance and receiving stolen property.

Foster was arrested on selling a controlled substance and receiving stolen property.




Bail for Mang and Foster was set at $10,000 each.

Bar owner Doug Bigley said he was surprised by the arrests Wednesday night and that he had no knowledge of the illegal activity taking place at his business, which he has owned for 33 years.

“It was a shock to me,” Bigley said. “I was sitting in my office and (Mang) knocked on the door. The next thing I knew all of these officers were there slapping handcuffs on her. I just about had a heart attack.”

He said Mang used to work for his son in a bar in Camptonville and when his son closed his bar about a year ago, Bigley hired her.

“She’s always been a good worker,” Bigley said.

Bigley also hired Foster last April to repair the front of the tavern, damaged by a car driven into it. Foster had also done some work for Bigley at Bigley’s ranch near Camptonville.

Foster was not working at the time of the arrest.

Bigley said Mang and Foster will never work for him again.

“Everybody knows I’m a redneck and this is all completely strange to me,” Bigley said. “I thought they respected me more than that. I’ve got a lot to lose here.”

ABC Public Information Officer John Carr said the tavern’s liquor license was suspended for 15 days in May 2001, when someone purchased an alcoholic beverage for resale from someone other than a wholesaler. Other than that temporary suspension, Carr said the tavern’s record is clean.

He said no active disciplinary action is being taken against Bigley at this time, but the investigators’ report hasn’t yet been finished.

Once the report is complete, it will be forwarded to the ABC’s Sacramento office where it will be determined if any disciplinary action is taken.

“The penalties against businesses where this sort of thing happens can be pretty severe,” Carr said.

He said Bigley’s license could be suspended or even revoked based on the investigator’s recommendations.

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To contact staff writer Robyn Moormeister, e-mail robynm@theunion.com or call 477-4236.


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