On Wednesday, May 19, 2010, 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. The operation was conducted in the Bartow and Mulberry areas of the county.
During the operation, an attempt to purchase alcohol was made at 9 stores, with 7 of those stores in compliance.
The following businesses were checked and found to be in compliance with Florida State Statutes:
- Chevron Food Mart, 1900 W. Main Street, Bartow
- Liquor World, 7066 Highway 37 South, Mulberry
- IGA Super Market, 310 SR 60 West, Mulberry
- Dollar General Market, 7050 Highway 37 South, Mulberry
- Dollar General, 673 Highway 37 South, Mulberry
- Walgreens, 6985 Highway 37 South, Mulberry
- First Food and Beverage, 1125 Shepherd Road, Mulberry
The following stores were not in compliance:
CITGO / Quick Mart 1285 N. Church Street, Mulberry. Store clerk, 49-year-old Francis Duncan, DOB 05/10/1961, 1006 NW 1st Avenue, Mulberry, was issued a Notice to Appear.
7-Eleven 7040 SR 37 North, Mulberry. Store clerk, 29-year-old Amanda Renee Dias, DOB 11/06/1980, 2027 Leisure Dr., Winter Haven, was issued a Notice to Appear.
"Operation Pop Top is an effective community awareness tool," said Sheriff Grady Judd. "When proprietors see that we will not tolerate the illegal sale of tobacco or alcohol to minors, it sets a precedent. I commend those businesses that were in compliance."