Four Niles businesses cited for selling alcohol to minors

By By JAMES COLLINS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Four Niles businesses have been cited for liquor permit violations for selling alcohol to minors, the result of an Niles police sting operation.
Those businesses include Crocker's Party Store, Golden Nuggett, Riverfront Cafe and Port-Of-Call.
The citations were issued during a recent undercover operation by the Niles City Police Department to catch businesses in the act of selling alcohol to minors.
Niles City Police Capt. James Merriman said the police department employed two confidential informants, ages 17 and 18, to attempt to purchase alcohol from bars, liquor stores and supermarkets within the City of Niles.
The operation took place on Tuesday and included 11 area businesses.
The teen-age informants also attempted to purchase alcohol at Pro Quick Mart, 7-Day Party Store, Martin's Supermarket, Harding's Market, Lake St. Watering Hole, The Tavern and The Stein and Vine but were denied.
Merriman said the department also conducts a similar operation to police the sale of cigarettes to minors.
The informants were advised to enter each establishment and attempt to purchase alcohol, he said. If asked, they were to produce their valid Michigan's operator's license that indicated they were underage.
If the informants were denied service, they were to leave the establishment.
Niles City Police detectives positioned themselves outside each of the businesses, so that they had visual contact with the informants entering and leaving each location, Merriman said.
Each employee who sold to one of the underage informants was given a ticket for furnishing alcohol to minors, which is a misdemeanor.
Each of the businesses received a liquor violation and will be reported to the Liquor Control Commission.
Merriman said this citation usually involves to a fine and some sort of hearing and that multiple citations can lead to more serious consequences for a business, including the possibility of being closed or losing a liquor license.
According to the police report, the following businesses and individuals were cited on Tuesday:
Merriman said the department will continue to conduct these types of undercover operations to ensure that alcohol and tobacco products are not being sold to minors in Niles.

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