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May 17, 2022

Poinciana man arrested for selling alcohol to a minor

Media Contact: Alicia Manautou, PIO

The Polk County Sheriff's Office conducted an "Operation Pop-Top" on Monday, May 16, 2022, at twelve different convenience stores in the Lake Alfred, Haines City, and Poinciana areas. The ongoing operation is designed to ensure that stores within the county are compliant with state laws by not selling alcohol to anyone under 21 years of age.

Deputies are assisted in the operation by a PCSO Explorer who makes the attempt to purchase alcohol. The Explorer program is for high school students who are interested in a career in law enforcement. In this particular operation, the Explorer was 15-years-old. 

Out of the twelve stores visited by Deputies and the Explorer on Monday, eleven of the stores were compliant.

31-year old Jose Santiago of Poinciana, who is employed by the 7-Eleven store at 6519 Marigold Ave. in Poinciana, was charged with the misdemeanor crime after she allowed a 15-year old to purchase an alcoholic beverage.

The eleven stores which refused to sell the alcoholic beverage to the Explorer were:

• Citgo Food Mart , 530 S. Lakeshore Way, Lake Alfred
• 7-Eleven, 180 S. Lakeshore Way, Lake Alfred
• One Stop Food Store, 2998 US 17/92 W., Haines City
• Marathon, 95 US 17/92 W., Haines City
• Circle K , 1013 E. Hinson Ave., Haines City
• 7-Eleven, 1690 E. Hinson Ave., Haines City
• Super Discount Mobile, 501 US 17/92, Haines City
• Shell, 1199 Powerline Rd., Haines City
• Citgo Junction Food Stop, 5775 E. Johnson Ave., Haines City
• Dollar General store, 100 Palmetto St., Poinciana
• 7-Eleven, 398 Marigold Ave., Poinciana

“The stores and employees who were found to be in compliance with the law are to be congratulated. Each store and the employees must ensure that they do not sell alcoholic beverages to anyone under 21 years of age. We do these operations often, and we will hold stores and employees accountable.” - Grady Judd, Sheriff