Decoy Shoulder Tap Operation

Release Date/Time: 5/24/2021 9:45 AM
Incident: Decoy Shoulder Tap Operation
Date: Saturday, 5/22/2021
Location: City of Salinas

Agents from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) and Salinas Police Department conducted a program called a Decoy Shoulder Tap Operation which targets adults who purchase alcohol for people under 21 years of age.  Under the program, a minor (Explorers) under the direct supervision of a peace officer will stand outside a liquor or convenience store and ask patrons to buy them alcohol.  The minor indicates in some way he or she is underage and cannot purchase the alcohol. 

Once provided alcohol, undercover officers follow the suspect away and the enforcement team would detain them.  During the operation, we visited multiple locations in all areas of town and contacted numerous individuals.  Most declined the offer and some even lectured the kids on the dangers of alcohol.  Several clerks realized the minors were trying to purchase alcohol and asked them to leave the property. 

As a result of the operation we cited:

Iban Ruiz (29) for selling/furnishing alcohol to a minor and Jairo Zamora (33) a parolee for driving on a suspended license. Silverio Cruz (28) for selling/furnishing alcohol to a minor. Antonio Soto (46) for selling /furnishing alcohol to a minor.

If the adults agree to purchase alcohol for the minor, agents then arrest and cite them for furnishing alcohol to the minor.  The penalty for furnishing alcohol to a minor is a minimum $1000 fine and 24 hours of community service.

The program is intended to reduce the availability of alcohol to minors. According to the American Medical Association, underage drinking can increase chances of risky sexual behavior and teen pregnancy, juvenile delinquency, compromise health, and result in unintentional injury and death.

Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control through the Alcohol Policing Partnership Program (APP).

ABC protects communities through education, prevention, and enforcement programs designed to increase compliance with California’s alcoholic beverage laws.

ABC is a department of the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency.

Release Authorized by: Miguel Cabrera
Telephone: 758-7289