San Diego law enforcement underage drinking, smoking sting operations lead to 2 arrests

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – San Diego law enforcement launched two underage sting operations this weekend. One was an operation that sent minors to vendors in Vista, aimed to identify retailers selling tobacco products to underage teens. 35 businesses were visited by decoy minors, but all stores were found in compliance after every under-18 teen was turned away. 

Another sting operation, seeking out of-age adults willing to purchase alcohol for underage drinkers, ended with two arrests in East San Diego County, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. Operation "Shoulder Tap" used underage decoys to loiter in front of liquors stores before targeting adults entering the businesses to purchase alcohol for them. Deputies and agents with the California Department of Alcoholic and Beverage Control ran the operation. 

The decoys made it clear to their targets they were under 21 and incapable of buying alcohol. Undercover officers and ABC agents waited nearby, prepared to arrest offenders willing to break the law. Five stores in Casa de Oro, Spring Valley, Lemon Grove and Rancho San Diego were visited by the team heading the operation. The two people arrested were cited and released for furnishing alcohol to a minor. 

A conviction for this violation could lead to up to six months in jail, a $1000 fine and 24 hours of community service. The "Shoulder Tap" sting operation was part of a $100,000 grant from the ABC.

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