Deputies, informants hit the streets during undercover alcohol b - FOX Carolina 21

Deputies, informants hit the streets during undercover alcohol buys

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GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

A 19-year-old stood outside of Upstate gas stations and a Walmart in Greenville County looking for an illegal hook up.

INFORMANT: "If I give you a couple of bucks will you be able to buy a six pack of beer? I'm 19," the informant said.

CUSTOMER: "No, I'm just gonna cash my check," the customer said.

The 19-year-old is turned down, but when he went to another store he got the beer he wanted.

"I wasn't even thinking sir, I just wanted to go home," the customer who bought the beer said to investigators.

Deputies with the Greenville County Sheriff's Office say the 33-year-old man walked into the Sunoco gas station off Poinsett Highway and bought beer for the 19-year-old.

"You understand you were breaking the law by giving that guy some alcohol right?" asked one of the deputies.

"Yes," the customer answered as investigators wrote him a ticket.

The investigators and undercover underage informants are part of the South Carolina Alcohol Enforcement Team. On Friday, several undercover informants went on compliance checks and alcohol buys to see if store clerks and adult customers would buy alcohol for those under 21 years old. A 15-year-old undercover went to several stores and when clerks scanned or checked her I.D., they told her she couldn't buy the alcohol.

However, deputies say she was able to walk out of TD's Express Mart on West Blue Ridge Drive with a Bud Light. Deputies wrote the clerk a $650 ticket.

"The goal is to have zero deaths related to alcohol among our youth," Curits Reese said.

He's the prevention services manager with the Phoenix Center, which is a drug treatment and rehabilitation center.

"Alcohol is always a concern, it's the number one risk for youth in terms of death and injury," Reese said.

He said the Alcohol Enforcement Team leads the state and nation in reducing underage drinking.

The crack down is part of the "Out of Their Hands" spring blitz. Investigators throughout the state will take part in undercover buys to bring more awareness to the underage drinking problem. Investigators say they choose the month of April because it's prom-time and spring break. They say it's the time of year when those who are under 21 years old try and get their hands on alcohol.

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