LEONARDTOWN, Md. (March 17, 2008)—On Sunday, local police visited eleven retailers in the Lexington Park and California area to see if anyone would sell tobacco products to an underage buyer. Employees at seven of the eleven did.
Businesses are required by state law to verify the age of a tobacco purchaser, prior to the sale, to ensure the person is at least 18 years of age.
The operation was conducted by Senior Deputies First Class Emory Johnson and Hume Ross of the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office, assisted by a confidential purchaser who was under the age of eighteen.
The businesses who police say sold a tobacco product to their underage buyer were:
Wilde Wood Wine and Spirits
The Early Bird
Cook's Liquors, Hollywood
JC Wine and Spirits
Wa Wa's, Rt. 4 & Rt. 235, California
Shopper's Food Warehouse
The sales clerks, who made the sales to the underage purchaser, were issued criminal citations for selling a tobacco product to a minor. The business is not penalized.
The businesses which police say checked for proper identification and did not make sales to the underage purchaser were:
Bay Country Liquors