On Monday, November 5, 2012, 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 Jan Phyl Village area, west Winter Haven and Highland City areas of Polk County.
A total of eight convenience stores were checked for the sale of alcoholic beverages to a minor. Seven of the eight stores were found to be in compliance with the Florida beverage laws.
Those in compliance were:
- JK Food Citgo – 3355 Spirit Lake Road, Winter Haven
- Circle K – 4980 Spirit Lake Road, Winter Haven
- 7-Eleven – 6175 US Hwy 98 S., Highland City
- Rightway Food Store - 4205 Clubhouse Road, Highland City
- Sunrise Supermarket – 3035 Thornhill Road, Winter Haven
- Sunoco – 2727 K-Ville Avenue, Winter Haven
- Citgo – 2102 Thornhill Road, Winter Haven
The following store was not in compliance: CVS – 3005 State Road 540 W. Winter Haven. Store clerk, Lois Ramirez, DOB 11/09/1948, 1041 Sunshine Way, Winter Haven, was charged with the Sale of Alcohol to a Minor. She was booked into the Polk County Jail.
"I commend the businesses which were in compliance," 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.”