On Wednesday, April 2, 2014, 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, conducted “Operation Pop Top” in the Highland City and Bartow areas.
A total of 12 convenience stores were checked for the sale of alcoholic beverages to a minor. 10 of the 12 stores were found to be in compliance with the Florida beverage laws, and they are:
1. Racetrac - 1690 North Broadway, Bartow
2. Right Way Foods - 4205 Clubhouse Road, Lakeland
3. Discount Liquors - 5457 US Hwy 98 South, Lakeland
4. 7-11 - 6175 US Hwy 98 South, Lakeland
5. Sunoco - 1385 North Broadway, Bartow
6. Sunoco - 1900 West Main St, Bartow
7. Circle K - 310 West Main St, Bartow
8. Quickmart - 5295 SR 60 East, Bartow
9. Hurricane Handimart - 5401 SR 60 East, Bartow
10. Circle K - 7695 SR 60 East, Bartow
The clerk at the Stop & Save located at 585 Clower Street in Bartow, 72-year-old Alexander Cherukattoor of Valrico, was charged with Sell of Alcoholic Beverage to a Person under 21 Years of Age. He was booked into the Polk County Jail.
The clerk at the Lee's Country Store located at 3540 Central Avenue in Alturas, 18-year-old Khalil Darwish of Winter Haven, was charged with Sell of Alcoholic Beverage to a Person under 21 Years of Age. He was booked into the Polk County Jail.