Seven employees of seven different Coweta County stores have been arrested after authorities say they sold alcohol to minors as part of a series of stings that officials disclosed Tuesday.
Deputies visited 14 convenience stores that sold alcohol, according to Lt. Col. James Yarbrough with the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office. A 17-year-old working with the sheriff’s office would place a six-pack of beer on the counter of each store, while a body camera recorded the transaction.
Of the 14 locations visited, investigators say they found employees selling alcohol to minors at seven stores.
Employees from Citgo at 8899 Hwy 54, Marathon at 88 Collinsworth Rd., Hwy 29 Mini Mart at 6466 N Hwy 29, Chevron at 15 McCollum Village, Marathon at 4200 Hwy 154, Marathon at 28 Greentop Rd., and Shell at 251 Stewart Rd. - all allegedly sold alcohol to undercover, underage operatives.
The attempted purchases took place between Aug. 3 and Aug. 10, and seven people were arrested as part of the operation, according to Yarbrough.
Nick Patel, 55; Mariayolanda Mojica Gonzalez, 30; Frances Marie Castillo, 28; Manan R. Mehta, 51; James Barton Sander, 39; Acha Swaroop Kumar, 30; and Amanda Jean Bowman, 31, were all arrested and charged with furnishing alcohol to a person under 21.
The sheriff's office says the operation was conducted after it had received several complaints of high school-aged children buying alcohol. Investigators said similar sting operations are something done periodically to ensure stores are following the law.
A high school student, age 17, was killed Aug. 9 when he was a passenger in a single-vehicle crash reportedly driven by another teen who has been charged with driving under the influence.
Clay Neely: firstname.lastname@example.org, @clayneely