Ventura County – With high school prom season rapidly approaching, and with underage drinking among the leading causes of injury and death to area youth, the Camarillo Police Department is acting aggressively to reverse that trend.
With a mission of restricting underage access to alcohol and of enforcing the Business and Professions Code prohibiting the sale of alcohol to minors, the CPD’s Community Resource Unit, working hand-in-hand with the State of California Department of Alcohol Beverage Control, conducted a “sting” operation on April 21st at various area convenience and liquor stores.
According to Camarillo Police Department spokesman Sgt. John Franchi, the operation involved the use of two underage minor decoys who posed as teens attempting to buy alcohol from retail establishments throughout the City of Camarillo. During the operation, the decoys tried to buy beer, wine, and liquor from 17 locations. Of all retail employees contacted, 15 required identification from the prospective purchasers and “turned the decoys away without selling any alcoholic beverages,” but two other store clerks sold alcohol to the decoys, even though their ID checks clearly established their ages as under 21.
Those two store cashiers, Oscar Ballines, 18, and Miguel Sanchez, 32, both residents of Oxnard, were arrested and charged with violations of California Business and Professions Code §25658, selling or furnishing alcohol to a minor. Both were cited and released pending court appearances, which may result in significant fines and jail time.