HANFORD — Several clerks and businesses were cited after a tobacco sting conducted by Hanford Police, officials said.
On Aug. 7, members of Hanford Police Department’s Problem Orientated Policing (POP) Team, Investigations Unit and investigators with the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration conducted a minor decoy operation and inspections at retail establishments that sell tobacco products in the city of Hanford and its surrounding area.
Officers said underage minor decoys, who were 17 and 19 years of age, were sent into retail establishments and attempted to purchase tobacco products from the clerks.
Police said three retail establishments sold tobacco products to the minor decoys:
- Best Buy Market, 1798 N. 10th Ave.
- Hanford 76, 102 W. Grangeville Blvd.
- Sierra Liquor, 1220 N. 10th Ave.
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The clerks were cited for a violation of selling tobacco to a person under 21 years of age and officials said civil action may be taken against the establishments for unfair competition law by the Kings County District Attorney's Office.
Officials said Robin’s Mini Mart, 130 W. Grangeville Blvd., and Sam’s Smoke Shop, 11631 S. 10th Ave., also received citations from the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration for improper paperwork. They said over $400 in product was seized from Sam’s Smoke Shop due to the improper paperwork.
Vape Culture, 554 N. 11th Ave., was shut down for not having a tobacco license, police said. Once the establishment obtains a license, they said it can continue to operate.
If you are aware of a retail establishment selling tobacco to minors under 21 years of age, contact the Hanford Police Department’s POP Team at 585-4701 with the information.