REDLANDS – Four people were cited and released, charged with buying alcohol for an 18-year-old Redlands police volunteer who was posing as an underage person looking to buy alcohol last weekend. On Tuesday, Redlands police released the information that led to the apprehension of those people in order to cite them for later court appearances.
On Feb. 23 between 5-9 p.m., the 18-year-old male volunteer stood outside local businesses on Brookside Ave., Orange St., State St., and Redlands Blvd. He offered to give people who were entering the stores money in order to buy beer. The four people cited included three Redlands residents, James Handy, 30, Frieda Koons, 27, Yasser Martinez, 29, and Andrew Walker, 27, of Grand Terrace. Each person was cited and released. Police said the beer was returned to the businesses for a refund.
The police effort, known as Shoulder Tap Operation, was spurred by a grant from a State of California agency. On Feb. 5, the Redlands City Council accepted a $7,500 grant from the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC), earmarked for the local police department to conduct the sting.
The grant, according to a release by Chief of Police Mark Garcia, includes training funds for local business owners by ABC. The grant funding runs until June 30, 2013.
None of the stores were identified by Redlands police, but there are several known stores in those areas that do considerable business with alcohol-related sales. Similar operations have been conducted in nearby cities, including neighboring San Bernardino.
A portion of those funds covers overtime costs for police officers.
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