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Posted on: January 24, 2019

WPD cracks down on underage tobacco sales

WPD cracks down on underage tobacco sales

Several people arrested during a recent operation

The Watsonville Police Department is cracking down on underage tobacco sales at licensed establishments across the city.


Officers arrested several people during the first “Minor Decoy” and “Shoulder Tap” operations of 2019.


A Minor Decoy operation consists of officers sending underage volunteers into businesses to attempt to purchase tobacco. During a Shoulder Tap operation, an underage volunteer will solicit adults near licensed businesses to buy tobacco.


WPD officers conducted an operation on January 21st.


Unfortunately, the following businesses sold tobacco to our underage volunteers:


- Discount Cigarettes (2018 Freedom Blvd.) 

- Union 76 (1597 Freedom Blvd.)


One employee from each business was arrested for selling tobacco to a minor. The employees were issued a citation and released at the scene.


During our Shoulder Tap operations, conducted in the 1400 block of Main Street, officers arrested one adult for purchasing and contributing tobacco to minors. The adult was cited and released at the scene.


Despite the arrests, we are pleased to report that the following local businesses refused service to our underage volunteers:


- Union 76 (Main St) 

- La Princesa Market (Main St) 

- Town and Country Liquors 

- Illusion Smoke Shop 

- 7-11 (Main St) 

- FoodMax 

- Discount Cigarettes (Main St) 

- Rite Aid - Safeway 

- Quik Stop (Freedom Blvd) 

- AM/PM (Green Valley Rd.) 

- Mobile Gas 

- Walgreens 

- U Save Liquors 

- 831 Smoke Shop


These efforts are part of the yearlong Tobacco Law Enforcement Grant that WPD was awarded by the California Department of Justice.


Any questions regarding the operation or grant can be directed to Sergeant Tony Figueroa at (831) 768-3379 or antonio.figueroa@cityofwatsonville.org 

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