Underage Drinking Decoy Operation In RivCo Yields One Arrest, Fines

SAN JACINTO, CA — Undercover deputies targeted adults and stores willing to get alcohol into minors’ hands in San Jacinto, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

On Monday, deputies confirmed their recent two-part sting—a “Minor Decoy Operation” and “Minor Decoy Shoulder Tap Operation”—each yielded a single citation, one of a store clerk and one of a person who agreed to buy alcohol for a minor.

During the “Minor Decoy Operation,” an underage actor—under the direct supervision of a peace officer— attempted to buy alcohol from three retail licensees within the city limits.

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Only one store in the 1800 block of South San Jacinto Avenue agreed to supply alcohol to the minor. According to the sheriff’s department, that store was cited up to $250 for a first violation and must also serve 24 to 32 hours of community service.

“ABC will take administrative action against the alcoholic beverage license of the business where alcohol was sold to a minor,” Sgt. Mike Troyer said. “That may include a fine, a suspension, or the permanent revocation of the license.”

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During the “Decoy Shoulder Tap Operation,” the underage minor—also under the watchful eye of a peace officer— stood outside stores where liquor was sold. The minor made it clear to 28 different adults at five different stores that those asking to have alcohol bought for them were underage, according to Troyer.

Of the adults contacted, only one bought alcohol for the minor, according to the sheriff’s report.

“The penalty for furnishing alcohol to a minor is a minimum $1,000 fine and 24 hours of community service,” Sgt. Mike Troyer said.

Since the operations began, the rate of citations has dropped to less than 10 percent per business contacted, Troyer said in his report. Compliance checks like this one in San Jacinto reduce the rate of drunken driving fatalities with minor drivers, according to the department.

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