Undercover Sting Targets Alcohol Sales To Teenagers In Oklahoma

Monday, January 9th 2012, 11:52 pm
By: News 9

State and local agencies went undercover on Monday to catch businesses selling alcohol to underage individuals.

The focus was Oklahoma City. From the north side to the south side, law enforcement put bars, liquor stores and convenience stores to the test. News 9 teamed up with ABLE, the Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission, in an exclusive undercover training operation.

"Just order a Crown and Coke and he can order a beer," senior agent Eric Smoot told two undercover and underage actors.

The commission is teaching agencies throughout the metro how to conduct stings. Our cameras were rolling as underage actors walked into five different locations in Oklahoma City. First on the list was Byron's Liquor Store on north Broadway.

"I asked [the underage man], ‘did you know you have to be 21 to be in here,'" Byron's cashier Charlie Nelson said. "He goes, ‘yes,' and I said, ‘buh-bye.'"

Nelson did not fall into the trap. In fact, she did everything right.

Next in the investigation was Toby Keith's Bar and Grill in Bricktown. The country singer would be proud to know his business also passed with flying colors.

Hooters and the Red Pin Bowling Alley also carded the young man. But, as the day winded down, one business did not.

The Conoco at N.W. 50th and Western in Oklahoma City did not pass the test. The 18-year-old high school student was able to buy a 12 pack of Bud Light, so News 9 confronted the clerk.

"I have no comment," said the Conoco clerk. "You need to leave the store."

Outside the store, we debriefed as we kept the teen's identity a secret.

"He looked at [my ID], and he told me happy birthday because my birthday was two days ago," the teen said.

Police did not arrest the Conoco clerk. ABLE says the clerk is lucky the operation was just for training. ABLE says it will report the Conoco to the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office to be checked up on again in the near future.

Fourteen businesses were part of Monday's operation. Only one of the 14 broke the law.