Sting targets shops selling smokes to minors

2013-04-02T07:34:00Z 2013-12-18T14:09:31Z Sting targets shops selling smokes to minorsCARA SPOTO cara.spoto@journaltimes.com Journal Times

RACINE — Operators of two convenience stores on the city’s near south side are facing thousands of dollars in tickets after they were caught selling loose cigarettes and small cigars to local minors. 

The tickets were handed out last month after a Racine police officer working out of the Mead Street Community Policing Unit conducted a two-day investigation of three shops in the area.

As part of the sting, which took place between March 8 and 9, the officer had seven juvenile volunteers enter the shops and attempt to purchase cigarettes or cigarillos from clerks. The Market, 1949 Racine St., which didn’t sell tobacco products to the volunteers, was the only shop that was not ticketed. The ticketed shops were The Sweet Spot, 1900 Mead St., and Belle City Foods, 522 16th St.

The youths made 13 separate visits to the shops, and in all but one of their trips, they were sold cigars or cigarettes, according to the police report.

In most cases the youths were sold loose cigarettes, which resulted in an additional ticket for selling cigars or cigarettes in any other way than in a pack with tax stamp affixed.

In most cases the minors entered the store two at a time, with both attempting to purchase cigarettes or cigars.

In one of the visits to The Sweet Spot one of the volunteers was sold a single Newport cigarette for 50 cents. The other volunteer was sold a Swisher Sweet brand cigarillo for $1, the report states.

Similar transactions allegedly took place during five other visits to the shop — transactions that resulted in 22 tickets and $12,000 in potential fines for the business.

Belle City Foods, which was allegedly caught selling cigars or cigarettes to minors on five separate occasions got 14 tickets, and is now facing more than $7,000 in fines.

According to the police report, the officer who conducted the investigation decided to organize it after hearing that The Sweet Spot was suspected to have sold tobacco products to people under 18.

As the tickets were handed out for ordinance violations, they will be handled in municipal court.

City Attorney Rob Weber said last week, however, that he plans to contact the Department of Revenue once the cases are adjudicated.

Copyright 2015 Journal Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(2) Comments

  1. Give Me a Break
    Report Abuse
    Give Me a Break - April 03, 2013 7:45 am
    The police have been doing this for 30 years. The stores still haven't learned.
  2. pgatour123
    Report Abuse
    pgatour123 - April 03, 2013 7:22 am
    That never use to be legal. Now the police can do whatever they want. Racine must need some money. The juveniles parents should go after the Police for using the kids to do their dirty work. I think they could sue the city.
Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick

Featured Racine-area Businesses

Racine Family YMCA - Racine, WI

For over 130 years the Racine Family YMCA has provided quality programs and services for area youth, adults…

Ridgewood Care Center - Racine, WI

Ridgewood Care Center - Racine, WI

Ridgewood Care Center is a multi-specialty long-term care facility in Racine, Wisconsin. Cou…

Business Offer

Maresh-Meredith & Acklam Funeral Home - Racine, WI

Maresh-Meredith & Acklam Funeral Home - Racine, WI

ON THE MOST DIFFICULT DAY OF YOUR LIFE...WE, THE MEREDITH FAMILY ARE HERE TO HELP YOU.We are…

Business Offer

Props Ahoy - Union Grove, WI

Props Ahoy - Union Grove, WI

With over 15 years experience in the propeller industry, Props Ahoy can repair, customize, o…

Business Offer

Poll

See more polls
Loading…

Should cell phone use be banned in construction zones?

View Results