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Three Store Clerks Sold Alcohol To Minor In Dutchess Detail, Police Say

Cheers Liquor Store on Route 55 in Beekman was one of three stores where clerks were caught selling alcohol to a minor during a sting by the New York State Police.
Cheers Liquor Store on Route 55 in Beekman was one of three stores where clerks were caught selling alcohol to a minor during a sting by the New York State Police. Photo Credit: Google Maps/Street View

DUTCHESS COUNTY, N.Y. --  Three Dutchess County store clerks were snagged during a sting for selling alcohol to underage volunteers on Monday by the New York State police.

Twenty-one stores were checked by using an underage volunteer to purchase alcohol while plainclothes investigators and uniformed troopers observed nearby, state police said.

Of the 21 stores checked, 18 store clerks refused to complete the sale of alcohol to the volunteer. Three clerks sold alcohol to the volunteer and were arrested.

The following persons were charged during the operation:

  • Suresh Patel, 64, employed at Cheers Liquor Store on Route 55, in the Town of Beekman
  • Muhammad Tufail, 49, employed at the Gulf Gas Station on State Route 55 in the Town of LaGrange
  • Shane E. Vespa-Jewett, 19, employed by the Shell Gas Station located on Route 44 in Pleasant Valley

All three were charged with unlawfully dealing with a child, a misdemeanor. They were issued appearance tickets to appear in courts at a later date and released. In addition, their employers face possible civil penalties imposed by the State Liquor Authority.

The state police said the following businesses complied with state laws during the initiative:

  • Cobble Pond- Route 82 in Stanford
  • Getty- Route 44
  • Stewarts in the Village of Millbrook
  • Verbank Deli - Route 82 in Union Vale
  • Sunoco - Route 55 and Beekman Road
  • Shell- Route 55 and Route 216
  • Mobil- Route 55 at the Taconic State Parkway
  • Mobil- Route 55 and Freedom Road
  • Exxon- Route 55 and Titusville Road
  • Shell- located at the intersection of Noxon and Titusville Roads
  • Mobil- located at the intersection of Noxon and Titusville Roads
  • Shell- Route 44 by Degarmo Road
  • Exxon- State Route 44 and Rochdale Road
  • Stewarts- Route 44, in the Town of Poughkeepsie
  • Mobil- Route 44 and Timothy Heights
  • Getty- Route 44, just west of West Rd in Pleasant Valley
  • Mystic- Route 44 at Traver Road
  • Mobil- Route 44 just west of Rossway Road

The state police, with investigative support provided by the state Liquor Authority, routinely conducts underage drinking enforcement operations throughout the state in an effort to curb alcohol abuse and DWI incidents among teenagers.

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