Tulsa Teens Help Investigators In Undercover Sting

Wednesday, April 16th 2014, 11:25 pm
By: News On 6

Teenagers put liquor stores, convenience stores and restaurants to the test on Wednesday, in an attempt to help investigators with an underage drinking crackdown.

Criminal Justice students at Tulsa Tech returned from a more than three hour sting where they posed as minors trying to buy alcohol. They were successful - our two teens found a number of local establishments willing to sell to them.

The day began with a briefing for the students. Then, they went out around town ready to see just how compliant Green Country businesses are, as far as selling to the under-aged.

"The first few, I do get nervous but it gets better throughout the day," said student Lindsey Wilson.

Wilson is 18 and on Wednesday she posed as a girl trying to push her luck a bit. Her first stop was a QuikTrip, where the clerk checked her ID, saw she was underage and refused to sell to her.

Their next stop was a bar just a few doors down. Wilson walked in, closely monitored by undercover law enforcement, and sat down, ordering a Coors Light.

"He looked at my ID, he asked what year it said on it. He said, ‘is this '85,' and I said, ‘no it's '95.' And then he went ahead and brought out our beverage," Wilson said.

Police officers said a big problem they encounter is bartenders not knowing how to ID someone underage, so they use their smartphones to take a picture of those underage buyer's licenses and officers can prove their point.

"Oklahoma has made it very, very, simple for you. All you have to do is look at the red box, it tells you the date they turned 21, that's all you have to do. So I like to look at it as a teachable moment," said Gina Pruitt, with the ABLE Commission.

We found a number of places willing to sell to underage buyers like Angelica Casarrubias, who had success on her first attempt with an undercover operation. In fact, the ABLE Commission stopped at 85 establishments and five of those were not compliant.