The Santa Maria Police Department is closely investigating liquor stores for not carding minors who are trying to buy tobacco.
Investigators set up an operation where they used a minor decoy to enter several shops in the area, to see if the minor could purchase cigarettes and chewing tobacco.
Despite some residents being old enough to purchase tobacco, Miller Johnson says that he wouldn’t mind being carded more often. Especially because he doesn’t like seeing young kids smoking.
Those stores that were caught selling to underage children were cited by the Police Department and the owners will have to appear in court. Investigators went on to say that if the stores are caught again selling tobacco to minors they could possibly face either higher penalties or lose their store licenses.
The Santa Maria Police Department does intend on doing more operations that involve undercover stings. They encourage shop owners to fully educate their employes on the importance of carding and spotting out minors who are trying to purchase tobacco.