Undercover Sweep Targets Underage Alcohol Sales In North Escambia

July 13, 2010

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office and investigators from the Division of Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco (ABT) Bureau of Law Enforcement teamed up yesterday for an undercover enforcement sweep in North Escambia targeting the sale of alcohol to minors.

The operation included the check of 17 establishments licensed to sell alcoholic beverages from Kingsfield Road north to Molino. Clerks at 16 of the 17 establishments refused to sell alcohol to a 17-year old operative, but one did.

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office says alcohol was sold to the undercover 17-year old at the Beer Tobacco and More, Inc. at 500B North Highway 29 in Cantonment. The business is located next to, but not affiliated with, Porky’s Pizza.

The store clerk, 73-year old Edward Amasom, was issued a criminal citation but not taken into custody.

Under Florida law, it is a crime to sell, give or serve alcohol to a person under the age of 21. A violation of this law is a second degree misdemeanor and carries a maximum prison sentence of 60 days in jail, a $500 fine and the possible loss of driving privileges.

Comments

31 Responses to “Undercover Sweep Targets Underage Alcohol Sales In North Escambia”

  1. Chris on August 8th, 2010 11:50 pm

    ///Some of you people confuse me. We just read on this very site about three 16 year old girls involved in a near fatal car accident where alcohol was a factor. ///

    Right.

    This is hardly an acceptable argument. For one, there’s no guarantee that these 16 year olds got the alcohol themselves. It’s far more likely someone bought it for them.

    How about the parents? How late was this accident? 1-2AM? The parents didn’t think that maybe their kids were doing something wrong?

    How about all the deaths/accidents from drivers of age? Should we be refusing the sale of alcohol to people 21 or older? I don’t understand what age has to do with DUI.

    I’d wager thousands of adults drive drunk every day.

  2. Big B little ill on July 15th, 2010 3:11 pm

    Some of you feel like they have better things to do with their time like arrest more hardend crimminals.I promise you is hard to forgive when that teen is so drunk he kills someone in an accident. The man who sold the beer to the young man, well they will want to sue him, place him in jail for life. Just let the law do their jobs and don’t be so hard on them. Just like most of you, they like to hear thanks, great job, just a like gratitude for every time they have to chase someone or get placed in harms way. Then some will say thats what they get paid for. Well sometimes the pay just ain’t that great.
    Yep forgive the man 73 year old gent, he’s only human but a sting is a sting so be careful what you do. That stinger may hit you.

  3. Janice Parker on July 15th, 2010 11:57 am

    I’d like to know how many of you “FOR SHAME, FOR SHAME” people tried to illegally buy these things when you were teenagers. I worked convenience stores for years and I carded everyone I was suspicious of. Never had a problem. Refused a lot of people. Maybe if these clerks took the time to call law enforcement when one of these situations arose, that would be the best deterrent. Every convenience store clerk has to attend alcohol vending school, but they’re not told what their rights are, and what is or is not legal for that minor. All they’re told is that it’s illegal for them to sell to a minor. I attended one. These clerks are trying to ,in some instances, just make a living, or supplement their income. They’re human and we all make mistakes. A convenience store is not a choice place to work. A friend of mine was working a store in Pens. When the kid came in followed by an older man, she recognized it as a set up. When the kid handed her the ID, she turned around and dropped it in the safe. The officer was furious, but there was nothing he could do about it.

  4. deBugger on July 14th, 2010 2:25 pm

    I fully understand the need to “go after” clerks & businesses that routinely “let it slide” when young adults w/out proper ID attempt to purchase alcohol, cigs, porn, sex toys, whatever—

    My point is that the old gentleman @ BT&M is NOT routinely “ready, willing and able to commit the crime charged”.

    If Ms. Parker is correct, the “agents” sent an underaged individual into these establishments with the foreknowledge that he/she was attempting to illegally purchase said products, which, in itself, is a violation of law. This is the problem with “undercover” or “sting” operations much of the time: ofttimes, the crime being solicited is less of an infraction than the acts of the “agents” or “informants”.

    It is correct to question the motives of many of these “informants”, since it is well-known that law enforcement coerces cooperation from persons that have outstanding cases working through the system. “You can help yourself out here, just help us out a little,” is the common refrain.

  5. AC on July 14th, 2010 1:14 pm

    From the website: http://www.lectlaw.com/def/e024.htm

    ENTRAPMENT
    – A person is ‘entrapped’ when he is induced or persuaded by law enforcement officers or their agents to commit a crime that he had no previous intent to commit; and the law as a matter of policy forbids conviction in such a case.
    However, there is no entrapment where a person is ready and willing to break the law and the Government agents merely provide what appears to be a favorable opportunity for the person to commit the crime. For example, it is not entrapment for a Government agent to pretend to be someone else and to offer, either directly or through an informer or other decoy, to engage in an unlawful transaction with the person. So, a person would not be a victim of entrapment if the person was ready, willing and able to commit the crime charged in the indictment whenever opportunity was afforded, and that Government officers or their agents did no more than offer an opportunity.
    On the other hand, if the evidence leaves a reasonable doubt whether the person had any intent to commit the crime except for inducement or persuasion on the part of some Government officer or agent, then the person is not guilty.
    In slightly different words: Even though someone may have [sold drugs], as charged by the government, if it was the result of entrapment then he is not guilty. Government agents entrapped him if three things occurred:
    - First, the idea for committing the crime came from the government agents and not from the person accused of the crime.
    - Second, the government agents then persuaded or talked the person into committing the crime. Simply giving him the opportunity to commit the crime is not the same as persuading him to commit the crime.
    - And third, the person was not ready and willing to commit the crime before the government agents spoke with him.
    On the issue of entrapment the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was not entrapped by government agents.

  6. One citizen on July 14th, 2010 9:17 am

    Some of you people confuse me. We just read on this very site about three 16 year old girls involved in a near fatal car accident where alcohol was a factor. What a perfect time to conduct such an operation. I applaud the officers in north Escambia County. We need to work with them to make a safer community.

  7. Janice Parker on July 14th, 2010 8:11 am

    I may be wrong, but I understand that it is a crime for anyone underage to attempt to buy alcohol or cigs. Wonder if a clerk could file charges against these young people. In the state of Alabama, the clerk has the right to confiscate their false id, and I think this is true for Fla. also. Don’t know how much they’re paid, but some of them have probably been in trouble and may doing a trade off. I’ve also wondered if their parents know where they are and what they’re doing when they’re with one of these agents.

  8. smokey on July 14th, 2010 8:03 am

    too all you people who have nothing but negative comments about this…….i guess if you had a loved one killed by an underage teenager that had been drinking you would be blaming the law enforcement establishments for this also. some of you have the need to complain about everything……get off your butts and get involved in cleaning up our area or shut up!!!!

  9. AARRRRRGGGG! on July 14th, 2010 7:43 am

    To the person who wanted them to solve murders instead of this,
    remember you solve crimes one at a time.
    Thats what this was about.

    I do however, think and I posted on another post about t another
    accident to the sherriff, that this was a joke on him to do this.
    On the other post I said WHY.

  10. K.B. on July 14th, 2010 7:41 am

    AMEN, Bill!!!

  11. Bill on July 14th, 2010 12:52 am

    Responding to Mark on July 13th, 2010 7:43 pm

    “What about solving some murders in the county-three last week. Giving 73 old clerks tickets is the best we can do?”

    If it was someone you knew that was injured or killed by an underage drunk driver, then you would complain that law enforcement did nothing to prevent it.

    The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, under David Morgan, is working to clean up and improve our communities. They are sending a message that underage drinking is not “cool”, and that retailers who turn a blind eye for the sake of profits will be prosecuted.

  12. Ryan on July 13th, 2010 11:33 pm

    Wonder how much they payed the nark?

  13. Elmer Fudd on July 13th, 2010 9:16 pm

    I got gas at a local store a few years ago, when I started to go in to pay for it, four teenagers stopped me and ask if I would buy them some beer. These kids didn’t know me and I didn’t know them. I told them sure and took their money, I went in and paid for my gas with my debit card, came out and handed them back their money and told them that I didn’t have my drivers license with me and the store clerk wanted a ID before I could buy the beer. I told them, “but I have a friend that might be nearby and he will have his ID, let me call him.” I called his personal cell phone and told him that I was with four teenagers that wanted me to buy them some beer, but I forgot my ID. He told me he was about 3 minutes away, talk about eyes popping open and jaws dropping, they did when he pulled up in a Escambia Sheriff’s deputy’s car. I told those teens that any responsible adult would at least refuse to buy them alcohol, and a few will do them like I did, I’m going to the house and my friend will take it from here, and I left.

  14. Mark on July 13th, 2010 7:43 pm

    What about solving some murders in the county-three last week. Giving 73 old clerk tickets s the best we can do?

  15. cstore cashier on July 13th, 2010 5:49 pm

    this comment is for deBuggar…..I was one of the stores they hit yesterday she had a Georgia id….if she would have been buying cigarettes i probably wouldnt have id her but since she sat alcohol on my counter i carded her….she was born 06/01/1993….and no she didnt look like one of those 17 goin on 37’s she looked like she was maybe 18 or 19 yrs old…..so yes one can be mistaken….

  16. steph on July 13th, 2010 5:38 pm

    that is true.

    I remember one night when I just clocked out at work and was waiting in line and the guy in front of me had different types of alcohol I think a six pack of bud and miller chill and some singles of smirnoffs come to find out some teenagers outside paid him to buy it for them.

  17. Kim on July 13th, 2010 4:20 pm

    I agree with MIIXSTER, it is entrapment. All posters and training states that you ID any person that appears under the age of 40. Your opinion of someones age is not going to be the same as mine. It is a total judgement call and the “bait” never shows up in court with you, so all you can do is plead and pay the fine. Easy money for the state.

  18. deBugger on July 13th, 2010 3:29 pm

    @shae

    No one checks ALL IDs, EVERY time— a little “community policing”, with some oversight & a warning, instead of a CRIMINAL citation would have been appropriate.

    I’m only 48, and yet I never get carded, and I’m glad— it makes it easier & quicker to get through those lines.

  19. huh on July 13th, 2010 2:17 pm

    I don’t even know why the state wastes money and time to do this anymore. Now, underage you can order Alcohol online and have it shipped to your house. Only requiring a scan of an id, if you are too lazy to do that , you can order from overseas as well, where they aren’t zealots about drinking like we are in the states and they will ship it to your door step

  20. Chumuckla proud on July 13th, 2010 1:44 pm

    Do you really think the kids are getting the booze directly from a convenience store? Think again. They usually PAY someone of age to buy it for them. I am 66 years old and can remember when some of my friends would pay someone (usually a transient or bum) to go into a store or bar and then meet him behind the store or somewhere close by. Nothing new….been going for decades. Older friends will buy it for them too.

  21. shae on July 13th, 2010 1:24 pm

    Thank You AC. The statement, “I’m too busy” is not a viable excuse. Especially when it could mean someones life.

  22. MIIXSTER on July 13th, 2010 1:20 pm

    BY YOUR COMMENTS I’M CERTAIN YOU HAVE NOT WORKED AROUND THESE TYPE STORES. WORKER TURN OVER IS HIGH SOMETIMES YOU HIRE OUT OF DESPERATION. IN A SIX YEAR PERIOD WE WENT THROUGH OVER SIXTY EMPLOYEES. ALWAYS SOME COMING SOME GOING. THAT’S THE NATURE OF THE BEAST. NO ONE WHO GOT TAGGED FOR THIS MEANT TO OR WAS CAUGHT MORE THAN ONCE. IT’S CALLED A MISTAKE AND THE AUTHORITIES TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS.

  23. AC on July 13th, 2010 1:06 pm

    “Entrapment” is when law enforcement puts the original intent to commit a crime in a person’s mind, and then arrests them for it. Catching a store clerk when they are “too busy” to obey the law does NOT constitute entrapment! If a store has too much business to properly follow the steps to sell a certain item, i.e. cigarettes and beer, then perhaps they should not sell those items. Even so, one could almost understand making ONE mistake, getting caught, and learning your lesson, but three times in six years is not very bright.

  24. MIIXSTER on July 13th, 2010 12:21 pm

    I HAVE WORKED AT THESE STORES BEFORE AND THE TACTICS THEY USE COULD BE CALLED ENTRAPTMENT. THIS THE PLOY, PARK OUTSIDE THE STORE AND WAIT UNTIL ALL GAS PUMPS ARE BUSY AND INSIDE TRAFFIC IS HEAVY. SEND THE ” bait” IN AT THAT TIME. IT WILLBE A GOOD CHANE THE EMPLOYEE WILL BE SO BUSY WITH GAS CUSTOMERS THAT THEY WON’T CHECK THE PERSON. AND THEN BANG INSTANT REVENUE. IT’S IRONIC THAT IN THE 6 YEARS I WORKED THIS STORE WE GOT CAUGHT 3 TIMES LIKE THIS BUT THE 8 GAS DRIVE OFFS WE HAD NO ONE WAS EVER ARRESTED.

  25. YELLARHAMMER on July 13th, 2010 11:51 am

    Well I think this person made a mistake but hope they don’t lose there job because I am sure it supliments there SS. As for the sting it looks unfair but it needs to be done to keep peopls alert. Now as for the North end of the county I am sure the ratio would be much worse in the lower end of the county where there is more concentration of people.

  26. shae on July 13th, 2010 10:59 am

    For Shame. Everyone knows that when a person is buying alcholic beverages, ID’s must be checked even when the person may “look” old enough. Even a 73 year old. Just because he is “nice” doesn’t mean he wasn’t in the wrong.

  27. deBugger on July 13th, 2010 10:50 am

    The folks at BT&M are nice, easygoing people.

    I’d like to see a photo of this 17-year-old “undercover agent”. Wouldn’t surprise me if it was one of those “17, going on 37″-looking “kids”.

    An easy mistake for a 73-year-old counterman to make.

  28. Who Cares on July 13th, 2010 9:41 am

    Molino is as far “north” as anyone in the government ever goes. They don’t know that Escambia County goes any further north!

  29. Dan on July 13th, 2010 8:31 am

    MORE stupidity I think.

  30. whitepunknotondope on July 13th, 2010 7:21 am

    Beer Tobacco and More, huh? What’s the “More” stand for?

  31. Oversight on July 13th, 2010 5:38 am

    One out of 17 sounds pretty good, but even this is actually too many. How long will it be before ABT comes all the way “north” in Escambia County to check out the other alcohol retailers?





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