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Apr 14, 2023

Operation Pop Top: Lakeland sales clerk arrested for illegal alcohol sales

Media Contact: Alicia Manautou, PIO

A convenience store sales clerk was arrested by the Polk County Sheriff's Office on Thursday, April 13, 2023, for selling alcohol to a minor.

It was the latest arrest in the PCSO's ongoing "Operation Pop Top" campaign, in which deputies visit convenience stores to ensure they are not selling alcoholic beverages to anyone under the age of 21.

55-year old Larry Lawson, a clerk at the 7-Eleven store at 5870 US 98 North, was charged with selling alcohol to a minor (a misdemeanor). He was caught selling a 16-ounce can of Coors Light to a 17-year old who is a member of the PCSO's Explorers, a program for high school students who are interested in a career in law enforcement.

"Deputies visited a total of six stores Thursday in the Lakeland area, and five of them were in compliance with state alcohol sales laws. Operation Pop Top is a necessary campaign that we will continue in an effort to protect the children of Polk County." - Grady Judd, Sheriff