"Nowadays you get a $1000 fine and your face on Facebook.”
  • "Nowadays you get a $1000 fine and your face on Facebook.”
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On March 9, the Chula Vista Police Department arrested three people for providing alcoholic beverages to minors.

The operation was called Decoy Shoulder Tap, where a minor under the direct supervision of a peace officer stands outside of a convenience or liquor store and asks patrons to purchase alcohol for them.

“I’d wear a hoodie and a wire and just go up to random people and ask them to buy me beer,” said “Jessica,” a former decoy. Jessica requested that I change her name for the article; she was a police cadet in the 1990s under the supervision of the San Diego Police Department. “My supervisors would [monitor us] in an unmarked van.”

“Selection of the minor decoy is critical."

“Selection of the minor decoy is critical."

In these undercover operations, which are part of the statewide Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) initiative, the minor decoy states to the prospective liquor-buyer that he/she cannot legally purchase alcohol because he/she is underage.

“After they purchased my beer, they would walk outside of the store, leave it (the beer) on the ground and then walk away …. then the arresting police officers would apprehend and cite” the subject for furnishing alcohol to a minor.

“The penalty for furnishing alcohol to a minor is a minimum $1000 fine and 24 hours of community service,” according to the Chula Vista Police Department’s Facebook; they posted photos of one of the three busts on March 9, which depicted the decoy, the suspect (with beer in hand) and a Circle K employee.

“Thank goodness we didn’t have Facebook back then,” Jessica said. “I had to take photos with the suspect at the police station.”

“I got approached a couple times by minors asking if I’d buy them alcohol by the 7-11 ….,” said an Imperial Beach resident who saw the Facebook post. “[I] never went for it though, sting or just kids trying to party, I’m not supporting that.”

A Chula Vista resident remembers when he and his underaged “party crews would kick-it” outside of liquor stores and tip the liquor-buyers “an extra 5-or-10 spot.”

“But nowadays you get a $1000 fine and your face on Facebook,” he said. “You can keep your tips bro, I’m not down with it.”

According to the ABC website: “Selection of the minor decoy is critical. Desirable qualifications include being: under 20 years of age (and appearing that age); truthful; willing to work undercover, wear a radio transmitter and have their conversations recorded; comfortable making a face-to-face identification of the suspect after the violation and to have their photograph taken with the suspect; able to prepare a written report; willing to testify in court; and willing to undergo media attention.”

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Visduh March 19, 2019 @ 7:48 p.m.

So, how much effort and man/woman hours did they expend to bust three offenders? I'd think just sending out enforcement personnel and warning--in no uncertain terms--that sales to underage buyers could be very costly might be just as effective. Or did that already happen and still some dopes were dumb enough to fall for it? Questions, questions.


MURPHYJUNK March 20, 2019 @ 8 a.m.

safer than going after criminals that might shoot back


Strelnikov March 20, 2019 @ 2:32 p.m.

....because we can't nuke Chula Vista and be done with it, the fallout would drift elsewhere. We all suffer together until the megaquake vaporizes the county.


Ponzi March 19, 2019 @ 9:23 p.m.

Jessica got the beer, but Jessie did not. Dudes will put their neck out to buy chicks some beer, but the dude will get ignored unless he offers some cash incentive. This is classic entrapment because the actors and directors in these "shoulder tap" frauds know psychology and they use women to make their crimes fit.


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