By Michael Fitzpatrick
Three local businesses were cited after selling alcohol to minors during a Sept. 30 sting operation conducted by the North Ridgeville police.
Employees at Marathon, 35600 Center Ridge Road, Giant Eagle, 34325 Center Ridge Road, and Get Go, 34179 Center Ridge Road, were charged with underage sales of alcohol to minors after making a sale to underage informants.
The sting was done in partnership with the STOP Underage Drinking Taskforce and the Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services Board of Lorain County.
An 18-year-old female and 17-year-old male were used as informants in the sting. The two teens attempted to purchase alcohol at a total of 18 stores in the city, according to police.
“We try to make sure people are following the law and as a way to battle underage drinking issues,” Lt. Greg Petek of the North Ridgeville police said in explaining the motive behind the sting operation. “We just want to make sure people are doing what they are suppose to be doing, checking IDs and not selling alcohol to minors.”
Petek said the department periodically runs the stings.
“This detail we targeted grocery stores, gas stations and drug stores. Other times we’ll target bars and restaurants,” Petek said.
In addition to the employees being cited criminally for making the underage sales, the businesses themselves are cited under a civil complaint that is filed through the state, Petek said.
“We send it to the Ohio Investigative Unit and that gets forwarded on to the Division of Liquor Control,” Petek said.