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.

Subject identification: FL001
Time, date and
location of citation:
August 5, 2000 at 9:40 PM, Weston, FL
Citing Agency: BSO
What happened: While at home, I received a phone call by one of the employees of the gas station I was currently working for. She had asked if I would mind coming in a bit early for work. I told her yes and was in there within ten minutes (approximately 30 to 35 minutes before my scheduled shift).
Later on in the day, about half an hour to 45 minutes, it was time for her to leave. It was only me and another employee working the store at the time.
He told me to work the counters, sweep, mop, and handle the register while he worked on the Maclain files.
The day consisted of me running from mopping/sweeping the floors to the register and from cleaning up the counters and back again as the customers came in.
As the day passed on, the other employee working with me at the time told me he'd be in the freezer for the rest of night and I should handle the register.
As I was busy cleaning up the coffe canisters and whiping down the counters, I heard him call me saying I had customers to attend to.
I never even realised four customers had just come in the store.
I quickly stopped what I was doing and rushed over to the register.
I was having a hard time focusing as I got to the register.
As I saw the line of customers in front of me I immediately began to ring out the items. I took a second to note that the cans were indeed beer. I then immediately asked the customer for her ID.
While rushing through to get to the other customers, I quickly scanned over her dob and picture.
What I didn't notice at the time of the purchase, though was that I had used the legal age of tobacco sale instead of that of alcohol by mistake.
As I was ringing up the sale, I had this funny feeling in the back of my mind.
Trying to clear my mind, I strained my eyes to catch the number before returning to the register to hand her her change. I felt this knawing feeling at the back of my mind. It kept tugging at me as I reached for the money in the register. The next thing I knew, she had the merchandise and was out with her change.
"Are you sure you checked her id properly?" I asked myself.
She looked young, as do many of the customers who come in buying tobacco and some of alcohol.
Thinking I ID'd her successfully, I swiftly went on to the other customers.
Moments later, I was greeted with man in a black jacket and a clip board.
The only thing going through my mind was "oh, no." Those are the only words I could think of as he showed me his badge.
He asked me for my ID and told me I had just sold alcohol to a minor.
Everything just became a jumble in my mind after that. I remember the officer asking if anyone else was in the store at the time. All I could do was say "in the back" before being left speechless once again.
Never in my life did I think something like this would happen to me. You see these cases on the television all the time and think "how could they make a mistake like that?" Well, that was just what I was thinking after. "How?!" I felt so angry with myself.
Moments after receiving a citation from the officer, the employee working with me at the time told me that he had just spoken to my manager over the phone. He had tole him to tell me not to come in for work the next day. I was fired from my job.
It was a job of which I had been working for only one to one and a half weeks. This being the second job I've ever had in my life...and knowing it could end up on my record also lessening my chances of being hired again, has just left me mortified.
I am currently awaiting trial which is due on the 7th of September 2000.
Results: The fine was not given to me. It was given to my employer. This has been their second case so far. They have been charged with $1000 and given a warning. I was told that it would be up to the judge during the trial. Also, I was told not to return to work.
Other information: To the best of my knowledge, I have never been the subject of a compliance check. I consider myself to be extremely vigilant, and my associates consider me to be very careful.
Knowing what I know now...after this experience... never again will this happen again. One, due to the fact that I will never work in another gas station or store selling alcohol. Two, even if I do, I don't care how much the other customers would want to wait for me to ensure that this customer is of legal age. After all, they are not the ones that be be fined, arrested, and/or have a permanent record.

Subject identification: WA-0001
Time, date and
location of citation:
4:10 PDST; April 26, 2000; Spokane WA
Citing Agency: Washington State Liquor Control Board
What happened: Subject was waiting on a line of ten or more customers when the minor agent approached the check-stand, pulled a package of cigarettes from a display and made the attempt to purchase. Subject was sole cashier at the time. The minor agent appeared to be 24 or 25. This fact was verified by other customers who watched both the sale and the issuance of the citation. After the citation he recalled both the sale and the minor agent.
Results: Subject received a citation and a fine of $50.00. Any actions taken against subject's employer are unknown yet.
Subject has indicated a desire to contest the citation and subject's employer has indicated willingness to back subject up, including providing any information or documentation that employer has gathered on the issue.
Other information: Subject describes self as very careful concerning carding those who appear to be too young to purchase. Fellow employees describe subject in the same manner.
Subject has been the target of two other compliance checks, one in the same store in which the citation occurred and another in another store in the same chain, and passed both of them.
Subject says that, given the same circumstances, the rush of customers, the apparent age of the minor agent, and the fact that the subject was the sole cashier, another such Compliance Check would probably result in failure.

Subject identification: MS-001
Time, date and
location of citation:
May 26,2000 10:00 P.M. Cleveland, MS
Citing Agency: DA's office in Jackson, MS
What happened: I was standing at the cash register when 6 people walked in the store was which was already full. I don't know how many people were in the store when they entered. I was not alone. I was training and had been there for one and a half hours. I remember them coming in the store and I remember telling them it was illegal for them to leave the store without a bag. As I said before I was training the manager was in the deli. She thought the store was going to be robbed, so she came up behind the counter so she could press the emergency alarm. There was several people all asking 100 questions.
Results: The fine has not been determined. Employer received no citation. Subject was arrested, hauled to jail, and had to be bailed out by his wife. Subject was also fired but told his employeer not to bother because he quit.
Other information: "I was so disoriented by all the confusion I honestly did not realize I had not carded them until the police came in and arrested me. The manager was in total shock also."
Subject describes himself as being very vigilant and probably was since most new cashiers are inclined to be more vigilant than normal.

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.

Jason's home page

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.

Jason's story is partly concluded. He has been unable to find a job yet, because no one who sells alcohol wants to employ him. He was unable to obtain a public defender because, even though he is unemployed, he has too many resources to receive such assistance. He was told that he could probably get a lawyer for $750.00, a sum that he could not afford.

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

First, if you want me to respond, please give me your E-mail address.

1. Date and time of the incident:

2. Location of the incident, (city and state or county and state only, not the address or name of the store in which it occurred):

3. Name of the agency conducting the Compliance Check:

4. Describe the incident:
  • What were you doing before called to the cash register?
  • How busy were many customers in line?
  • Were you by your self? If not, how many other cashiers were on duty?
  • Do you recall the sale and the minor agent to whom you made the sale?
  • Include any other information you consider pertenant to explaine your failure to comply

5. Were you cited? If so, what was the fine?

6. Was your employer cited? If so, what was the fine and the action? Was your employer, or your store placed on probation?

7. What actions, if any, did your employer take against you as a result of this incident?

8. Explain your reasons for your failure to comply?

9. To the best of your knowledge, how many times before were you the subject of a compliance check and passed?

10. How would you describe yourself before the incident concerning your attempt to avoid sales of either tobacco or alcohol to minors?

11. How would your fellow employees describe you?

12. If the same conditions existed in another compliance check, do you believe you might fail that check again? Why, or why not?

Thank you for your time and your help.