On the evening of March 25th, 2019 members of the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office Alcohol and Tobacco Compliance Unit attempted to purchase tobacco products and alcoholic beverages at off-sale retail establishments in Santa Cruz County using an undercover minor. The goal of this operation was to limit minors’ access in the community to alcoholic beverages and tobacco products and to confirm that the local businesses are doing their part to prevent access.
Minor decoys are under 21 years of age and are under the direct supervision of the compliance Deputies during the operation.
The decoy must answer truthfully about their age and present their true identification upon request by a clerk.
During this operation, the minor attempted to purchase tobacco products and alcoholic beverages from eleven locations throughout Santa Cruz County.
The only business to sell products to a minor was Aptos Village Liquor.
The clerk at this location was issued a misdemeanor citation for selling alcohol and tobacco products to a minor and can also face administrative penalties by having their alcohol and tobacco sales licenses suspended or revoked.
The other businesses targeted in the sting, where cashiers turned the minor decoy away without selling any products, were:
- Aptos Natural Foods
- Deluxe Foods Aptos
- Rite -Aid Aptos
- Rio Liquors & Market Aptos
- Safeway Aptos
- Safeway Fuel Store Aptos
- Seascape Foods Aptos
- Deer Park Wine & Spirits Aptos
- Pajaro Valley Chevron Inc. Watsonville
- El Patio Grocery Aptos
In an ongoing effort to prevent access to certain products by minors, the Alcohol and Tobacco Compliance Unit will continue to conduct periodic undercover buy operations at on and off sale establishments in the unincorporated areas of Santa Cruz County.
For more information: http://www.scsheriff.com