From the Fortuna Police Department:

On Saturday, March 9th, the Fortuna Police Department participated in a statewide sting operation throughout California.  Nearly 70 law enforcement agencies across California participated in “Operation Shoulder Tap,” an undercover operation with the goal of raising awareness for underage drinking and also make it clear to any adults who buy alcohol for minors that there are serious consequences.

“Unfortunately over 4,000 young people die in alcohol-related tragedies every year in this country,” said ABC Director Jacob Appelsmith.  “This collaborative effort among California peace officers creates awareness to underage drinking issues, increases public safety for communities and also boosts protections for California’s young people.”

ABC agents and law enforcement agencies conducted a program called the Decoy Shoulder Tap Operation.  Under the program, a minor under direct supervision of a peace officer will stand outside a liquor or convenience store and ask patrons to buy them alcohol.  The minor indicates in some way he or she is underage and cannot purchase the alcohol.

If the adults agree and purchase alcohol for the minor, officers then arrest and cite them for furnishing alcohol to the minor.  The penalty for furnishing alcohol to a minor is a minimum $1,000 fine and 24 hours of community service.

As a result of the operation, 16 people were contacted by the minor decoy at various locations within the City of Fortuna.  Of those, two were cited for furnishing alcohol to the minor.

Statewide, the operation resulted in 325 people being cited for furnishing alcohol to minors.

Saturday’s operation was part of a grant from the State Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control awarded to the Fortuna Police Department.