On Tuesday, May 10, 2016, between the hours of 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm, Polk County Sheriff’s Office, School Resource deputies, along with the assistance of a PCSO Explorer, (Explorers are high school student volunteers), conducted “Operation Pop-Top” in an effort to combat the illegal sale of alcohol and tobacco to minors. A total of 10 stores were checked.
The following stores were found to be operating as prescribed by Florida Law, checking I.D and refusing to sell alcoholic beverages to under age minors.
1. Stop & Save 585 Clower Street, Bartow
2. Mon-Food EBA//JJ Food 1405 US Hwy 17 S., Bartow
3. Sunoco 1410 US Hwy 17 S., Bartow
4. Plaza Food Store 1995 US Hwy 17 S., Bartow
5. Citgo Homeland Food 6005 US Hwy 17 S., Homeland
6. Citgo Max Discount 822 N. Charleston Ave., Ft. Meade
7. Pit Stop Beverage 800 N. Charleston Ave., Ft. Meade
8. Circle K 116 N. Charleston Ave., Ft. Meade
9. Mobile/Quickway #4 724 E. Broadway, Ft. Meade
The clerk at Prescott Food Store, located at 825 South Charleston Avenue, Fort Meade, did sell alcohol to the PCSO Explorer.
62-year-old Foustin Pereira of Fort Meade was arrested and booked into the Polk County Jail.
"I commend the businesses and conscientious store clerks who were in compliance with this latest Operation Pop Top," said Sheriff Grady Judd. "We conduct operations such as these to send a message to the community that we will not tolerate the illegal sale of tobacco or alcohol to minors."
The PCSO will continue to use this valuable tool to protect Polk County’s most valuable resource, its children.