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On Tuesday, April 4, 2023, the Polk County Sheriff's Office arrested two sales clerks from two different convenience stores for illegal alcohol sales. They were the latest arrests in the ongoing Operation Pop Top campaign designed to ensure stores are not selling alcoholic beverages to people underage.
The deputies were aided by a 15-year old member of the PCSO Explorers program. Together, they visited five convenience stores and the child attempted to purchase an alcoholic beverage at each one. Three of the stores refused to sell to the boy.
The two sales clerks who were arrested were: 34-year old Ashley Stewart and 21-year old Kayla Knight. The stores where they work are the 7-Eleven at 180 Lakeshore Way in Lake Alfred, and the RaceTrac at 2227 US 92 West in Auburndale. Both were charged with Selling Alcohol to a Person Under 21.
The stores that refused sales to the minor were:
- Marathon at 6000 SR 557, Lake Alfred
- 7-Eleven at 420 Magnolia Ave. in Auburndale
- Circle K at 1000 US 92 W in Auburndale
"If you are entrusted with alcohol sales, you must be checking ID's, and you must refuse to sell to anyone under 21. It's Florida law, and we're frequently making these checks, to keep children safe." - Grady Judd, Sheriff