Stories of those NAILED in stings
In time, this section will be divided into a separate page for each state. For the present, since I have only one story to post, it will be included on this page. Subjects will be identified by the state in which they work and a number indicating the order in which I received their story. If the subject is willing to be contacted concerning their story, I will indicate such and you can obtain contact information by using my standard e-mail form.
Ohio case number 1 is a young man by the name of Jason. He wrote his story in a narrative format and the information provided in that story was so pertinent to the cause that I decided to use that story the way he wrote it. In this story you will see some of the deceptive tactics that law enforcement will use to trap cashiers in a sting. You will also see the after affects of being caught in one of these stings in the state of Ohio. Jason's story is followed by a link to his web site, In case you want to visit and leave an encouraging word for him.
My Encounter with Compliance Checks
Friday, May 19 wasn't any ordinary Friday and I knew that before anything happened. I had a twelve-hour shift coming up quick, I had to cash my paycheck, and exchange my Indians ticket for a new one because the last game was rained out. After running my errands, I went straight to work. I ended up at work about 30 minutes early. I used that time to see what went on the last two days I had off. The assistant manager had just gotten back from vacation. My coworkers were discussing how he gets on a tare after he's had time off of work. He would be out in his own world, and would not be much help to anyone. With these things on my mind, I took the register alone.
At 7 PM a woman came into the store and brought a six-pack of Miller Genuine Draft to the register. I took a look at her figured she was either 25 or 26 and went on with the transaction. After I gave her the change she asked for a receipt, I took another look at her and gave it to her. Right then I had a funny feeling like I just feel into a trap. I thought she was at least 21, so I ran the picture of her through my mind again. She was a white female, her hair was done up nice, she was wearing a "formal" outfit, and she was wearing sunglasses. Yes, she was wearing sunglasses at 7 PM at night! Right then I realized that a trap was opened and I fell in. Not long after two men came into the store saying, "HELLO JASON," with a loud "we've got him" type smart remark tone in their voices.
At the time I was busy and ignored the two men who turned out to be detectives. I was still the only one on register and we had the cheapest gas prices in town. After a few minutes the detectives asked me if there was anyone else who could run register. I said yes and yelled for a Mr. Hero employee to get the assistant manager. When he came in the detectives took me to the back, shut, and locked the door behind us. One of the detectives took my driver's license and checked me out with the dispatcher using my Social Security number to identify me. The other detective wrote me up a Summons to Appear. They told me that signing the Summons was not an admission of guilt so I signed it. They left the office after that and told the assistant manager what happened. As one of the detectives left he said, "Thanks again Jason." I was shocked by what he said and did not respond. I was a zombie for the rest of the night. I didn't eat and I drank very little for almost 24 hours.
At around 8 PM or so my uncle who is also the store manager came in for a routine audit with my aunt. I showed him my Summons and he went back and reviewed the tape. After looking at the tape, he and my aunt both said that they would have never asked for an ID from her. After he left I spent the rest on the night and early morning wondering what would become of me. I left work at around 3:30 AM. Before I left I asked the person relieving me to tell my uncle that if I'm fired to call and tell me so I wouldn't show up to work and realize I didn't have a job. I said that almost jokingly because I had hoped that I would still have a job since I've always been a model employee.
I couldn't get to sleep until after 5 AM that morning. I was really depressed. I spent some of the time before I went to bed to get on the Internet and try to figure out what the maximum penalties for this would be. I had planned of pleading no contest and getting it over with. After searching for more than 20 minutes with no luck, I came upon a web site with the title, "Compliance Check are a Failure," or something of that nature. I thought, "Hey, this is me." I went to the web site and read nearly everything that was there. I even e-mailed the author of the page with my story, and my plans to plead no contest. I information on the web site calmed me down enough to be able to sleep that night.
Shortly after 10 AM I was awakened by a call from my uncle. He explained to me that he did everything he could do, but he had to let me go, the choice wasn't his to make. After I finished talking to him, I checked my e-mail. The author of the web site that I had e-mailed had already responded. He told me not to plead no contest. Without a job and facing a criminal record, I decided to take his advise. I called my uncle back and asked him to keep the tape because I was going to fight it out it court! I went to my mom's house, called a lawyer, and described to my Mom how I'm going to defend myself. Later that day my uncle called back and said that I was no longer fired, but I was on suspension until the outcome of my trial. If I am found innocent, I can have my job back. If I am found guilty, I have to find a new job, pay a large fine, and have a criminal record.
As a resident of Ohio accused of a class three misdemeanor, Jason faces a fine of $500.00 and a sentence of 60 days. On the same day he was "arrested," two minors were also arrested for possession and drunkenness on a public street. They plead guilty, were fined $100.00 and given a sentence of only 30 days...suspended. In addition, Jason has found that prospective employers who retail alcohol do not want to hire him. He is considered at risk to offend again. Until his case is finished, assuming he is able to beat the charge, Jason has a large area of the job market cut off from him.
At his court appearance Jason plead not guilty. Now, Jason is waiting to meet with a lawyer appointed for him by the court. Then, only two days later, he will meet with the prosecutor. Uthur's Alcove will attempt to keep you updated on the results of Jason's case.
On June 8th Jason went in to face the judge. The judge, after taking roll call and determining that all of the about twelve cases were for selling alcohol to the under aged, asked "Is there any one here who actually committed a crime?" then went on to say that if "they" keep clogging his court room with these cases he would do something about it.
Jason was so worn out by his fruitless attempts to find a new job and his equally fruitless attempts to find legal representation that he could afford that he plead no contest. He was found guilty, fined $25.00 and sentenced to 50 hours of community service. While this may seam a light sentence, you have to remember that Jason lost a job of over two years and received a criminal record. Up until his court date, the potential for that record prevented him from finding a new job. Who knows how the reality of that record will affect him in the future.
If you were caught in non-compliance with the laws against the sale of either alcohol or tobacco to minors, I would like your story to include on UTHUR'S ALCOVE. Please answer the following questions and submit them to me, either via this form, or by e-mail to email@example.com.