Fortuna Police Department press release: 

This operation was conducted as part of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s Minor Decoy / Shoulder Tap Grant Project. The project is funded by the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

On Monday January 30, 2023, the Fortuna Police Department with assistance from the Alcoholic Beverage Control conducted a Decoy Shoulder Tap Operation within the city limits of Fortuna. The operation was conducted to help reduce youth access to alcoholic beverages and make the community safer.

Under the program, a minor under the 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 them, issuing them a citation for furnishing alcohol to the minor. The penalty for furnishing alcohol to a minor is a minimum $1000 fine and 24 hours of community service. The program is intended to reduce the availability of alcohol to minors.

As a result of the operation, 18 patrons were asked to purchase alcohol for the minor. Of the 18 patrons, only one of those patrons agreed and was arrested. Jason Fredrick Dean Matthys (Age 52) of Fortuna was arrested and released with a citation for violation of Business and Professions Code 25658(a) – Furnishing alcohol to a minor.

The Fortuna Police Department remains committed to public safety and transparency. Any questions regarding this grant program or incident can be directed to the Patrol Sergeant, Gabe Charlton at (707)- 725-7550.