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The State : Liquor ‘Sting’ Turns Sour

An undercover “sting” operation aimed at Chico area liquor stores that sell alcoholic beverages to people under 21 netted some arrests--not of people trying to buy, but of clerks refusing to sell. Dave Kuzmack, Rich Lyin and John Mullen were arrested after undercover police officers attempted to buy liquor using driver’s licenses showing their ages as under 21. The clerks not only refused to sell the would-be drinkers any liquor, but also refused to hand back the licenses. The officers finally identified themselves, but still the clerks hung on to the cards. The reason? Store owner Bernard Richter awards $20 bonuses to clerks who spot under-age identification and $100 bonuses to clerks who spot undercover police officers. The awards are handed out, Richter said, only if the ID is kept as proof. The clerks were charged with interfering with an officer, police said.


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