Eight clerks from various businesses around Lawrence Township were arrested after they allegedly sold tobacco products or alcoholic beverages to an underage purchaser last week, Lawrence Township police announced today (Thursday, April 28).
The arrests last Wednesday, April 20, were the result of an enforcement effort by township Detectives Dave Burns and Scott Caloiaro designed to ensure that local businesses are obeying state laws which mandate that a person must be at least 19 years old to buy tobacco products and at least 21 years old to purchase beer and other alcohol, according to Lt. Charles Edgar, police department spokesman.
“As part of the investigation, an underage purchaser was sent into numerous retail establishments with the intent to purchase tobacco products and/or alcoholic beverages without the clerk asking for and observing proper identification,” Edgar said in a news release.
“Eight stores were entered, resulting in the underage purchaser being able to purchase tobacco products from seven of the stores,” he said. “In each of the stores the underage purchaser was able to ask for and purchase products without first producing identification as proof of age.”
Edgar said the following store clerks were arrested for allegedly selling tobacco products to an underage buyer:
- At the Lucky Seven Deli in the 1900 block of Princeton Avenue – clerk Stephanie Rodruquez, a 21-year-old resident of the 300 block of Lawrence Road in the township;
- At Win Place and Smoke in the 900 block of Spruce Street – clerk Kinnaribe K. Patel, a 27-year-old resident of Scherer Court in the township;
- At ShopRite in the Mercer Mall, 3300 block of Brunswick Pike (Route 1) – clerk Marcin Olechno, a 24-year-old resident of the 900 block of Mulberry Street in the township;
- At Quick Mart in the 4000 block of Quaker Bridge Road – clerk Janakkuma J. Patel, a 46-year-old resident of the 100 block of Fountayne Lane in the township;
- At Tobacco Leaf in the Mercer Mall, 3300 block of Brunswick Pike (Route 1) – clerk Rajkumar U. Sharma, a 24-year-old resident of Tennyson Street in Carteret;
- At Lawrenceville Shell in the 2900 block of Brunswick Pike (Route 1) – clerk Manpreet S. Kalra, a 20-year-old resident of 1000 block of Kings Highway in Pilesgrove in Salem County;
- At Wonderland Novelties in the 2700 block of Brunswick Pike (Business Route 1) – clerk Dvora Goldsman, a 39-year-old resident of Crest Circle Drive in Millstone.
Edgar said several liquor stores were also visited and the underage purchaser was allegedly able to buy alcoholic beverages from the clerk at the Franklin Corner Tavern in the 100 block of Franklin Corner Road.
That clerk, Bhaskar Patel, 56, of the 100 block of Franklin Corner Road, was charged with violating state law’s regarding the sale of alcohol, he said.
Filed under: Tobacco news