Undercover members of the Sheriff’s Narcotics Enforcement Unit—in conjunction with the Putnam County Communities That Care Coalition, which funded the operation—conducted "unannounced inspections of establishments selling alcoholic beverages for off premise consumption," authorities said in a statement.
Officials used a list of licensed establishments provided by the New York State Liquor Authority to determine where to conduct the checks. They took place at retail businesses in every town and village in the county at various times of the day.
"During these checks an underage individual, under the direct supervision of a law enforcement officer, attempted to purchase alcoholic beverages from a store clerk without showing proof of age as required by law," officials said.
The clerks who carried out the sales violated the New York State Alcohol Beverage Control Law. Each is facing a misdemeanor charge of first-degree unlawfully dealing with a child, and each is due in court at a later date.
The businesses that failed the check will be referred to the New York State Liquor Authority Division of Alcohol Beverage Control. They may face fines, suspensions or revocations of their license to sell. Here is a list of the businesses:
- Gino's Deli on Towners Road in Kent
- Messina Auto Service on Route 6 in Carmel
- Master Mart on Route 22 in Southeast
- TNT Mini Mart on Route 6 in Carmel
“Although there has been a significant decline in the unlawful sales of alcoholic beverages to minors, we are striving for a voluntary 100-percent compliance rate," Smith said. "I can assure you that with the partnership of the Putnam County Communities that Care Coalition, we will continue to conduct unannounced inspections of retail stores and taverns alike. Keeping alcoholic beverages away from our underage youth is vital toward keeping them safe and healthy."
Last year three violations led to arrests, according to the Sheriff's Office. In 2011, they said, a total of 15 people were charged in connection with the sales of alcoholic beverages to underage children.