Tobacco sting snares 6 clerks in Vacaville

By From page A7 | April 23, 2014

VACAVILLE — Six clerks at various stores were arrested and cited Friday on suspicion of selling tobacco to minors – a marked increase of sales to minors over previous sting operations, Vacaville police said.

The sting operation resulted in the arrest of Taylor Fields, 19, Parampreet Singh, 29, Rajinder Kumar, 37, Rubyan Rodriguez-Velasquez, 22, Alberta Friedline, 61, and Kenisha Smith, 24, police said.

Officers from the Vacaville Police Department’s Youth Services Section conducted the enforcement operation to combat sales of tobacco products to minors. Officers worked with juvenile decoys who, under the direct supervision of police, tried to buy tobacco from businesses throughout the city.

Purchases were attempted at convenience stores, grocery stores and liquor stores.

Officers during the available time were able to get to 28 businesses on their list of those that sell tobacco. During those visits, the six clerks allegedly sold tobacco products to the minor decoys, police said.

Decoys displayed an ID showing that they were not yet 18 years old, but the clerks allegedly sold the product to them anyway, police said. All clerks were arrested and released on a notice to appear for the misdemeanor offense.

More stings will be conducted to encourage compliance with laws governing the sale of tobacco products, police said.

Money for this operation and the Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs efforts of the Vacaville Police Department’s Youth Services Section are made possible through grants from the Solano County Board of Supervisors and the Reducing Rates Coalition, police said.

Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or [email protected]

Ryan McCarthy


Discussion | 14 comments

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  • Jamie EstevezApril 22, 2014 - 12:01 am

    Shouldn't VPD be going after drug dealers instead? A cigarette will kill you when you're middle age or older if you've smoked all your life but a heroin overdose can kill you the first time you shoot up. I don't care about teenagers smoking cigarettes they will do it regardless what adults say.

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  • jimmy blankApril 22, 2014 - 1:06 am

    Cigarettes are a gateway drug worse than meth... You must be one of them tea partiers..

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  • JBDragonApril 23, 2014 - 2:38 pm

    O, a tea party person would say why is the federal government involved in the first place! Nothing in the constitution gives the Federal government his power. Which means it's a state power and if a state wants to makes drugs legal or not, that's a state right. This is why we have local and state governments. For some reason people seem to think the Federal Government can just to anything it wants. By the way, if all you so called democrats are pro abortion, baby killers, that it's a woman's right to her body, ignoring the baby's right that had no choice in the matter of being conceived, then why are cigerattes or anything else for that matter a problem? Should just be as much of a right to put anything else into your body including cigeratte smoke!

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  • JBDragonApril 23, 2014 - 2:48 pm

    Should also say I'm against gay marriage. But being a tea party person, the government shouldn't be involved in the first place!!! There would be no laws ether way. No government marriage licenses. If a gay couple wanted to get married, they can find a place for it and do it. See how that works! Anything else can be done legally with lawyers! The whole issue would be pointless and done with. Doesn't matter what either side thinks of the matter. Clearly you have no idea about a tea party person. You progressive is all about taking rights away from people, taking things away from people. Getting free stuff from government at the expense of a irs stealing money from others under threat of a gun a jail to so call Spead the Weath. A war on poverty that's been going on for 50 years that's done nothing. More people on welfare now then ever before. You people are sick. The more government grows the smaller middle class becomes and the poor get more poor.

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  • jimmy blankApril 23, 2014 - 2:52 pm

    I'm glad I got you fired up. I was being sarcastic with a buddy of mine. But glad it got a reaction so big.

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  • GetBackUnderYourBridgeApril 23, 2014 - 3:07 pm

    "I was being sarcastic with a "buddy"(yeah, right!) of mine." We call that trolling.

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  • CD BrooksApril 23, 2014 - 2:59 pm

    JBDragon, back the truck up! The Republican Party is trying to take away rights, I have proven that repeatedly. Anyone attempting to deny it would be an idi*t. If you're a Tea Party Patriot, then you are not going to have a Party much longer. Jump to the left, it is the winning place to be! ;) BTW, your abortion vs. cigarette analogy is ridiculous.

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  • Danny BuntinApril 23, 2014 - 9:51 pm

    @Jamie: Big Pharma has already paid protection money to prevent enforcement..

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  • mescApril 22, 2014 - 6:51 am

    Good Job! We need to uphold and enforce every law. If the law is bad, change the law. No one should purchase alcohol for minors.

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  • LilApril 22, 2014 - 6:24 pm

    Seriously, I thought the headline said Tabasco sting. I couldn't figure out why selling Tabasco was so bad. Is it a gateway condiment?

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  • CD BrooksApril 23, 2014 - 7:13 am

    I get busting sales of alcohol to minors, that cannot be ignored. And I get that selling cigarettes to minors is illegal as well. But c'mon, isn't there other more important issues than cigarettes? I can think of several but nobody wants to hear them.

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  • jimmy blankApril 23, 2014 - 11:47 am

    People are getting shot driving down the freeway but let's focus on the smokes.... .

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  • GetBackUnderYourBridgeApril 23, 2014 - 3:18 pm

    Vacaville is the new Fairfield. Dangerous & ghetto. The police should be focussing on keeping citizens safe, not smoking. Leave that to the parents to monitor. I am moving away from this area ASAP. One year here felt like five. The schools are terrible, there are homeless people everywhere, shootings are a regular occurance, gangs spray paint all over the place, there is literally garbage all over the place, all along the freeways flying around anyplace there are businesses. I can not wait to move back to Virginia Beach. The schools are excellent, crime is low, there are no homeless people everywhere, no gang writing, no garbage on the freeways or flying around near businesses. Its clean, safe & beautiful! I will not miss this ugly and nasty place one bit!

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  • Next DoorApril 23, 2014 - 9:31 pm

    I'm sick in tired of BIG Gov. flexing their might, I personally hate the smell of tobacco products and I don't drink but it pisiss me off when BIG Gov Cops set up check points or conduct these stings with OUR Money BIG GOV has become our enemy. People must think next time they VOTE who they VOTE for and just who or what these people represent.

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