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Apr 27, 2023

Selling alcohol to 16-year old lands Bartow store clerk in jail

Media Contact: Brian Bruchey, PIO

A store clerk from Bartow was arrested Wednesday, April 26, 2023, the latest person charged for illegal alcohol sales by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

Nine stores in the Bartow and Lakeland area were visited by PCSO deputies Wednesday as they continued Operation Pop Top, a campaign designed to ensure that stores and clerks check ID’s and refuse to sell alcoholic beverages to anyone under 21 years of age.

“Deputies are joined by a high school student involved in the PCSO Explorers program who is the one who actually make the attempt to purchase alcohol. In this case, the Explorer was a 16-year old boy. It’s the duty of the stores and clerks to abide by state laws on alcohol sales, and our duty to make sure they do.” – Grady Judd, Sheriff

37-year old Marcos Padilla Jr., a clerk at the Circle K at 310 West Main Street in Bartow, was charged with Selling Alcoholic Beverage to a Person Under 21.