A task force made up of undercover narcotics agents and patrol officers with the Dothan police department spent much of the day arresting people for selling alcohol and tobacco to minors. It’s called, “Operation Smoke-Free”
Since early Thursday morning, undercover narcotics and patrol officers roam Dothan’s streets making arrests. They have been staking out convince stores that were selling alcohol and cigarettes to minors.
"The point that we are trying to get across to stores here is don’t sell alcohol and drugs to minors without checking the ID's, of their customers," Says Operation Smoke-Free’s Organizer Sergeant Governor Jackson.
The young people would go into the store and try to buy beer and cigarettes. 33-stores either didn't check the ID or sold the products anyway.
All of it was caught on tape.
There were even some stores that had signs reading, 'we will not sell alcohol to you if you're under 21. Tobacco products, if you're under 19.’
"They should've checked those id's before our people went inside" Jackson says.
Some of the people arrested in Thursday’s sweep were shocked. Others seemed to know exactly why the vice officers were there. And police tell News 4 that many of these businesses are repeat offenders. Investigators would like the public to know which businesses are breaking the law and refuse to do business with them. Because the rules, they say, are very clear.
Dothan Police Chief John Powell says, "When these people apply for their licensees they knew there were certain guidelines that they’d have to go by”
One by one the offenders were booked into Dothan’s city jail. It will cost them $500 to get out.
They must still go to court, handle legal fees and possible fines by a judge and the likelihood of fines by the Alcohol Beverage Control board down the road.
Police hope this will serve as an example to all convenience stores to check I.D.
Of the 660-juveniles arrested in Dothan last year, 32 involved alcohol-related charges. Two were arrested for DUI, two for public intoxication and 28 were charged with possession of alcohol by a minor.
Police Roundup List
Charged with Selling Alcohol to Minors:
Linden St. Grocery, 803 Linden Street
Cannon Station, 140 E. Cottonwood Road
Petro, 4684 S. Oates Street
T & T Grocery at 1111 N. Alice Street
Ken’s Food Store, 824 E. Burdeshaw Street
D27 Convenience, 912 Columbia Highway
Sandhar Grocery, 1152 Third Avenue
Charged with Selling Tobacco To Minors:
Big/Little Store, 2798 Ross Clark Circle
Van’s Package Store, 307 Columbia Highway
Chevron, 2520 S. Oates Street
Stop N Go, 3184 Flynn Road
Selma Street BP, 1301 E. Selma Street
Chevron, 4380 Columbia Highway
Barber’s Deli, 800 Parker Street
Phat Tracks, 1011 N. Range Street
Fortner Street Convenience, 1112 Fortner Street
Beeline, 1421 Westgate Parkway
Chevron, 146 Westgate Parkway
Beeline, 1378 Hodgesville Road
LoLo’s, 3439 Denton Road
Chevron, 735 Ross Clark Circle
Shell, 812 W. Main Street
Chevron, 616 N. Oates Street
CVS, 1955 E. Main Street
Shell, 3206 Montgomery Highway
Texaco, 4468 W. Main Street
Shop A Snak, 4970 Montgomery Highway
Phillips 66, 653 Honeysuckle Road
Chevron, 3090 Denton Road
Citgo, 2154 Denton Road
Richard’s Grocery, 500 Montana Street
H&B Produce, 611 W. Powell Street
Stephenson-Smith IGA, 1357 Fortner Street