Statewide sting busts adults buying alcohol for minors

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SAN DIEGO - Counties across California conducted a sting operation at liquor stores Saturday, catching adults buying minors alcohol.

Four hundred and twelve people were arrested or cited in California on Saturday for allegedly buying minors alcohol, and 19 people were arrested or cited in San Diego County. San Diego sheriff's department caught one person in Santee who allegedly agreed to buy alcohol for two eighteen-year-old.

The sting operation in San Diego was made possible by a $100,000 grant from the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and... a couple eighteen-year-olds.

"They're dressed in the normal clothes that 18-year-olds wear. Have the appearance of 18 year olds act like 18-year-olds. That's the point of it," said Jennifer Hill with the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

The teenagers are decoys, planted by sheriff deputies to help curb the growing number of adults who buy minors alcohol.

"Every year unfortunately the number of people getting arrested has increased," said Hill.

The teens specifically offer people outside liquor stores ten dollars to buy them beer. They make it clear that they are underage and can't buy the booze themselves.

The person sheriff's deputies caught today allegedly took the cash, went inside, bought a 3 pack of Coors Light and handed it off to the minors.

"Unfortunately we make bad decisions too. We're not all perfect," said Sway Martinez.

The consequences include $1000 fine and 24 hours of community service.

Hill says catching someone is not the best scenario for them.

"For law enforcement, a successful operation is when someone will not purchase alcohol for the decoys," said Hill.

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