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Sting finds 24 stores sold alcohol to minors

MANATEE — Juveniles as part of a sheriff’s sting purchased alcohol at 24 of 83 stores checked Friday, and charges were filed against the clerks, according to a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office released statement.

Clerks were given a notice to appear in court by detectives in the Special Investigations Division, said Sgt. Steve Barron. The offense is a misdemeanor.

In the last underage drinking sting conducted, there were 28 clerks netted.

A person must be 21 years old to purchase or be served alcoholic drinks.

Detectives visited more stores in this sting than the last one, Barron said.

“It’s definitely a problem. It hasn’t gotten any better. That’s for sure,” he said.

Sheriff’s Lt. Rick Wells told Bay News 9 the number of sales to juveniles was “a very high number.

“That’s alarming we still have businesses out here selling alcohol to minors.”

The sting enlisted young people to go into stores and buy alcohol.

The action was timed to coincide with local school graduations to remind businesses to carefully check IDs and not to sell to anyone underage.

The owner of T&T Food Mart, whose clerk was cited for selling to a juvenile, told a Bay News 9 reporter the clerk misread the juvenile’s driver’s license and thought the juvenile was of age.

The owner said the mistake would be cleared up in court. Charges of selling/serving alcohol to a person younger than 21 were made at these convenience and liquor stores Friday, the sheriff’s office said:

n 3006 1st St. E. Circle K

n 2801 26th St. W. BP Station

n 5310 34th St. W. Mobile Station

n 5640 14th St. W. 7-Eleven

n 5942 14th St. W. T&T Food Mart

n 4630 Manatee Ave. W. Citgo Station

n 5104 Manatee Ave. W. Circle K

n 7604 Cortez Rd. W. Farmers Market and Deli

n 8705 U.S. 301 N. 7-Eleven

n 12334 U.S. 301 N. Pure Station

n 12324 U.S. 301 N. Parrish General Store

n 6285 U.S. 301 N. Raceway

n 6402 U.S. 301 N. Chevron Station

n 3410 U.S. 301 N. SweetBay Supermarket

n 1150 U.S. 301 N. Circle K

n 945 8th Ave. W. CVS Palmetto

n 1318 10th St. W. Dizzy Peacock

n 1240 8th Ave. W. Palmetto Exxon Station

n 11002 S.R. 64 E. Hess Station

n 8406 S.R. 70 E. Hess Station

n 7305 S.R. 70 E. BP Station

n 7205 S.R. 70 E. Shell Station

n 5913 S.R. 70 E. Circle K

n 6886 15th St. E. Circle K