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News Release

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Media Relations

Four Arrested in Sting Using Under-Age Decoy


Los Angeles- On Thursday, January 13, 2005, the Los Angeles Police Department and the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) conducted a decoy operation in the Boyle Heights area. This program is intended to prevent and deter the furnishing of alcoholic beverages to persons under twenty-one years of age.

The decoy was a 19 year-old man, who stood in front of stores licensed to sell alcoholic beverages in Boyle Heights. The decoy approached patrons as they entered stores and asked them to buy him beer. He informed them that he was only 19 and unable to buy the beer himself.

The majority of these adults refused to assist the minor and walked away from him. Four patrons agreed to assist the minor by buying the beer. Officers arrested the patrons and issued citations, then released them. The penalty for this violation can include a fine of $1000, probation and/or community service.

This program is intended to deter the sales and furnishing of alcoholic beverages to minors. It goes hand in hand with the Minor Decoy program that tests the licensees and their employees who work as clerks or cashiers at ABC licensed establishments. Studies conducted by major universities have revealed that 46 percent of minors who drink alcoholic beverages obtain the beer or liquor by soliciting adults outside of ABC licensed establishments.

The LAPD regularly uses these programs as a preventive measure against under-aged drinking. The police department tries to educate the public regarding these programs through the media and through their educational programs such as the Standardized Training for Alcohol Retailers (STAR), which is funded by a grant from the Department of ABC.

If there are any questions regarding these programs, you can contact Sergeant Rafael Ramirez at Operation ABC, at 213-473-7654.

This news release was prepared by the Los Angeles Police Department's Media Relations Section, at 213-485-3586.