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The Polk County Sheriff's Office arrested two convenience store clerks on Monday, March 27, 2023 for illegal alcohol sales.
The arrests were the latest in the PCSO's ongoing Operation Pop-Top, a campaign carried out across the county designed to ensure stores and clerks are being compliant with state laws that prohibit the sale of alcohol to anyone under 21 years of age.
"Stores and clerks are fully aware that we do these checks; we make no secret about it. It's our hope that every store we check is compliant by checking IDs and refusing to sell to those under age." - Grady Judd, Sheriff
Aiding deputies in each of these checks is a member of the PCSO's Explorers--a program for high schoolers interested in a career in law enforcement.
The deputies and the Explorer visited five convenience stores along US 27, and two sales clerk sold alcohol to the underage girl, and were arrested.
48-year old Tonya Streeter from Smith's Grocery (829 SR 17N) in Lake Hamilton, and 46-year old Fredrica Hall from Center Food Mart (301 Center Street) in Dundee were both charged with Selling Alcohol to a Person Under 21 (M).
The stores that refused to sell alcohol to the Explorer were:
- RaceTrac, 32866 US 27, Haines City
- EZ Foods, 20105 US 27, Lake Hamilton
- Shell, 207 SR 17, Lake Hamilton