Date: February 05, 2004 "For Immediate Release"
To: News Media
From: Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
Media Contact: Michal Shanley, 863 534-6631 or 819-0397 pager
Undercover Operation Targets Underage Sale of Alcohol

A joint undercover operation by the Polk County Sheriff's Office School Resource Unit and the State of Florida Beverage Unit targeting the sale of alcohol to underage customers at convenience stores resulted in the charging of two store clerks on Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2004.

During the operation, the following were charged with selling alcoholic beverages to an underage undercover "customer:"

  • Vishal Patel, DOB 4/8/77, of 48 Oaks Landing in Bartow, store clerk at Citgo located at 1285 Highway 37 in Mulberry.
  • Mohamed Echchgadda, DOB 6/25/44, of 1317 Hughey Street in Kissimmee, store clerk at Right Way Citgo located at 4205 Clubhouse Road in Lakeland.

Both were charged with one count Selling an Alcoholic Beverage to a Person under 21 Years of Age. The operation targeted a total of 10 convenience stores in the county. Of the 10 stores checked, the above listed suspects were the only clerks to sell alcohol to the underage "customer."

Distribution: Undersheriff, Division Commanders, Communications, News Media

A text only version of this release is also available.

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