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Deputies from the Polk County Sheriff's Office conducted another round of Operation Pop Top checks at local stores that sell alcohol. These checks are frequently done to ensure that the stores and their sales clerks are refusing to sell alcoholic beverages to anyone under the age of 21.
On Tuesday, November 28, 2023, the deputies visited nine Lakeland stores; eight of the stores were compliant.
During these checks, the deputies were assisted by a 16-year old student who is a member of the PCSO Explorers, a program for students who are interested in a career in law enforcement.
The student was successful in her attempt to purchase an alcoholic beverage at the Nick & Moe's store at 4418 Kathleen Road in Lakeland. 29-year old Sales clerk Jonathon Folsom was arrested and charged with selling alcoholic beverage to a person under 21.
"These checks really aren't surprise stops; we do them often throughout the county. It's no secret. The whole point of it is to make sure we don't have children purchasing alcoholic beverages at these stores. Sales clerks who ignore the law are going to be held accountable." - Grady Judd, Sheriff.
Deputies also checked two stores regarding the sale of kratom and found those stores to be in compliance.