On Wednesday, March 20, 2013, in an effort to combat the illegal sale of alcohol and tobacco to minors, Polk County Sheriff’s School Resource deputies, along with the assistance of a PCSO Explorer (Explorers are high school student volunteers), conducted “Operation Pop Top.”
The operation was conducted in the north Lakeland area with a total of 16 convenience stores checked for the sale of alcoholic beverages to a minor. Of those stores checked, 13 were found to be in compliance with the Florida beverage laws and three were not in compliance.
Those in compliance were:
Marathon located at 2385 Griffin Road
Walgreens located at 3120 Kathleen Road
Circle K located at 3100 N. Galloway Road
Town Liquor located at 2332 Griffin Road
Circle K located at 4415 Kathleen Road
Circle K located at 3808 Deeson Road
Kathleen Food Mart located at 6403 Kathleen Road
7-11 located at 2993 Duff Road
One Stop Shop located at 3029 Duff Road
Circle K located at 10704 N Hwy 98
Circle K located at 8324 N Hwy 98
Hess located at 111 Marcum Road
Sunoco located at 6655 N Socrum Loop Road
"I commend these businesses for complying with Florida laws prohibiting the sale of alcohol and tobacco to minors," said Sheriff Grady Judd. “Operation Pop Top is an effective community awareness tool. "When proprietors see that we will not tolerate the illegal sale of tobacco or alcohol to minors, it sets a precedent.”
The three stores not in compliance, along with the suspects who sold alcohol to minors were:
Nick & Moe’s Citgo located at 4410 Kathleen Road - Arrested was 41-year-old Daniel Gary, DOB 01-01-1972, 5320 Turtle Dove Trail, Lakeland.
Chevron Station at 10705 Hwy 98 North - Arrested was 24-year-old Mayur Kotadia, DOB 07-15-1988, 4789 Williamstown Boulevard, Lakeland.
Circle K located at 7250 N Hwy 98 - Arrested was 23-year-old Christina Spicciati, DOB 10-03-89, 7004 Sheffield Drive, Lakeland.