MCSO deputies crack down on tobacco sales to minors

PHOENIX - Dozens of convenience stores in Phoenix were put on notice Friday night as the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office cracked down on the sale of cigarettes to minors.

Deputies and volunteers went undercover and took ABC15 along.

“Some people want to do anything they can to make money. Young people have to suffer from them selling cigarettes,” said Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

A group of teenagers with the MCSO Explorers helped make the “buys.”

They had to adhere to very strict rules, including telling clerks their age if they were asked.

Reserve deputies rode along with them to convenience stores on every side of the city.

After hitting just two stores, we watched MCSO make a bust. The clerk was cited after selling a pack of cigarettes to a 16-year-old boy.

They made several busts over the night.

New this time, they also focused on e-cigarettes and vapors. Sheriff Arpaio says companies are marketing them to kids and some convenience stores are selling them to the minors.

“I think that’s another thing that we hit, that e-cigarettes are just as dangerous as the regular cigarettes,” said Deputy Danny McFadden.

Deputies and volunteers checked out about 100 stores across Phoenix.

Clerks or store owners who sold tobacco to minors were cited and face fines.

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