Five caught buying alcohol for minors
Five citations were issued in an undercover operation police used
to catch adults who buy liquor for minors.
On Feb. 20, police carried out a "shoulder-tap" operation around
various stores that sell alcoholic beverages in the city. During the
operation, an undisclosed 18-year-old "decoy" asked adults to
purchase liquor while under the surveillance of detectives.
Police said several adults refused to make illegal purchases, but
five men were cited on suspicion of buying liquor for the decoy.
From Laguna Beach, Brian Taylor, 29, Jose Carmona Molina, 24, and
Jeffrey Kordick, 39, received citations. Also cited were 38-year-old
Dana Point resident Anthony Glenn and 21-year-old Newport Beach
resident Andrew Crookall.
Police conduct this style of alcohol-related undercover operation
several times each year, Sgt. Darin Lenyi said.
Alcohol purchased for the decoy was returned to stores, he said.
Drug bust nabs pizzeria employees
Three employees at a pizza restaurant were arrested on suspicion
of drug violations after police received a tip from a "citizen
Police said they received information that employees at the
Dominos Pizza in the 1100 block of South Coast Highway were using
drugs. Detectives arrived at the restaurant at about 8:05 p.m. on
Police searched the restaurant, several employees and cars
belonging to restaurant workers. Six detectives, two Alcoholic
Beverage Control investigators and a drug-sniffing dog conducted the
search, Sgt. Darin Lenyi said.
The store was shut down for 30 to 45 minutes during the
investigation, he said.
More than one gram of cocaine, nine grams of methamphetamine, and
two drug pipes were found in the search, police said.
Lamberto Perez, Mark Dotson, and Milton Gutierrez were taken into
custody on suspicion of possessing illegal drugs.
Perez, 34, of Santa Ana was arrested on suspicion of possessing
cocaine and methamphetamine for sale. Police believe he intended to
sell drugs because he was allegedly caught with what police say were
sales records typically kept by drug dealers. Additionally, he
reportedly possessed drugs that were bundled separately.
"He had more than one package of drugs, when you have more than
one it's usually conducive to sales," Lenyi said.
Also found in the search was $900 of counterfeit cash that had
been stashed in a locker.
"It's believed to be the property of an employee that no longer
works there, and we're investigating that," Lenyi said.
Police credited the restaurant's owner, Russ Varner, for
cooperating with the search. For his part, Varner praised the
"They helped me out more than we helped them," Varner said.
-- Andrew Edwards