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Benicia Police Department
Wednesday December 15th, 2010 :: 02:55 p.m. PST



On 12-14-10, members of the Benicia Police Department’s Investigations Unit conducted a minor tobacco sting at various locations throughout Benicia. Solano County Friday Night Live Partnership assisted with the decoy operation and provided the minor decoy that attempted to purchase cigarettes in Benicia. The Benicia Police Department partnerships with Friday Night Live two to four times a year to conduct these stings.

The 17-year-old female minor decoy entered 10 businesses and attempted to purchase cigarettes. "Unfortunately, three businesses sold cigarettes to the minor," Benicia Police Lt. Mike Daley said. "We're disappointed that the three clerks, all who are aware that we do compliancy checks and know to ask for identification, failed to ask for identification and sold the tobacco products to the minor."

The goal of the program is zero sales, zero citations, tobacco free and healthier youth. Total compliance with tobacco sales laws is the department’s mission. Youth Services Officer Ted Criado and School Resource Officer John McFadden were the lead detectives.

Cited and released for sales of tobacco to a minor (308(a)(1) of the Penal Code) were:

1) Ted D. Southerland, 40 yrs old male, resident of Suisun City. Clerk at the Chevron Station located at 5990 East 2nd St.

2) Gurpreet Singh, 22 year old male, resident of Vallejo. Clerk at Bob's Food and Liquor located at 510 West J St.

3) Bhagabati Shrestha, 46 year old female, resident of Hercules. She is the owner and clerk of Cigarettes for Less located at 191 Military East #C.

Benicia stores to be commended for refusing to sell tobacco to a minor were:

Quick Stuff, 6001 Goodyear Road
Bob’s Food and Liquor 510 West J Street
Chevron Gas Station 10 Solano Square
Liquor Warehouse 457 Military East
Chevron Gas Station 2054 Columbus Parkway
Valero Gas Station 1925 East 2nd Street
76 Gas Station, 505 Military East

Compliancy checks are funded and sponsored by the Solano County Board of Supervisors Reducing Rates Coalition.

For further information, contact Lt. Michael Daley at (707)590-4259.

Benicia Police Department
200 East L Street
Benicia, CA 94510

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 707-745-3411

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