WINONA – The Winona Police Department is cracking down on the illegal sale of alcohol and tobacco to underage customers.
According to Winona Chief of Police Tommy Bibbs, on Friday, July 21, he and Captain Calvin Robinson sent an underage person into seven local retail establishments in Winona to purchase tobacco and/or alcohol. Out of the seven stores, only two requested to see identification from the underage customer.
“That really bothered me that out of seven stores, five sold alcohol to someone underage,” Bibbs said.
Bibbs said as a result of the sting, employees from those five stores were charged with selling to someone under the age of 21. Bibbs said all five charged pleaded guilty and were fined $647.50.
Bibbs said that he has spoken to Winona Mayor Jerry Flowers and members of the Board of Aldermen about the results of the undercover operation.
“The mayor, the board of aldermen, and the Winona Police Department does not want Winona to become a place for underage people to come and get alcohol,” Bibbs said. “Winona Police Department has received complaints from parents that underage people were getting alcohol and cigarettes from stores in Winona, and that is something we can’t have.”
Bibbs said the city hired him to enforce the law, and that is what he is doing.
“Winona Police Department is also working on other issues that are corrupting our young people at this time,” Bibbs said.