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9 Clerks Accused of Selling Alcohol to Minors

Nine clerks from Clearwater Beach and downtown businesses were arrested and charged with selling alcohol to a person under 21 after an undercover operation Friday night, according to Clearwater Police.

An undercover operation conducted by Clearwater Police resulted in the arrests of nine clerks on charges of selling alcohol to persons under 21 Friday night.

The Beach Anti-Crime Team teamed up with Americorp Members to send minors into stores to purchase alcohol from 5 to 11:30 p.m. Feb. 15. Several establishments refused to sell alcohol to the minors, according to a Clearwater Police release.

The following store clerks were arrested and charged with selling alcohol to a person under 21. All clerks were released with a Notice to Appear with the exception of Loren Jones, who authorities say had a prior offense for the same charges.

The businesses and clerks include:

  • Avraham Simon, age 39, Shorty's Groceries (formally USAG Groceries),1271 Gulf Blvd.
  • Maria Joaquin, age 22, Surf Style, 315 S. Gulfview Blvd.
  • Lissett Diego, age 43, Havana Exclusive Cigars, 400 Mandalay Ave.
  • Loren Jones, age 70, CVS Drug Store, 467 Mandalay Ave.
  • Danielle Haskins, age 40, Shipwreck Bar, 647 N. Mandalay Ave.
  • Jared Crowford, age 26, Hess, 441 Chestnut St.
  • Tawfiq Almalki, age 46, Pops Food Mart, 1208 N. Fort Harrison Ave.
  • Ahmed Daoud, age 49, North Garden Discount Food, 1504 N. Garden Ave.
  • Sameh Khalifa, age 30, Sunoco, 706 Drew St.

*updated 9:40 a.m. Feb. 17, 2013

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tanya m February 17, 2013 at 05:27 PM
A perfect example of government waste and NOT THINKING. I live here and was out with friends on Clearwater Beach on Friday evening. The weather was windy and cold, the beach was not very busy. This is not spring break - right now the island is filling with tourists and winter residents. This "sting operating" is bad on many levels. Bad press for our town. Bad for businesses that were "caught". Bad for the families of those that were made to play a role in this subterfuge. Clearwater Police would have spent their money wiser walking around and opening their eyes. There are still questions. What did the bogus adult look like? Who chooses which businesses to "test"? Which passed? On Friday night Clearwater Police stopped an underage person with no intent of consuming alcohol from consuming it.... There has to be a smarter way to limit underage drinking.
TS February 18, 2013 at 10:54 PM
What does being out with friends, windy and cold, not spring break have to do with under age drinking ? Are you mad because you and your friends got caught ? We have all had to endure curfews, under age drinking laws, etc.Stop crying and mind the law. the law is the law 24 hours a day. Not during busy times and or spring break.
tanya m February 19, 2013 at 01:22 AM
You got me!

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