Several businesses were cited for selling tobacco products to a minor as a result of a sting operation conducted by the Santa Maria Police Department.

Officers using a minor as a decoy visited 12 businesses on Wednesday, and six allowed the under-age person to buy tobacco products, said Sgt. Chris Nartatez.

It is against the law to sell tobacco products to persons under the age of 18.

Those cited included Anita Spirit Gas Station 1611 S. Broadway, Red Eye Liquor Store, 223 N. Broadway, La Chiquita Market, 1635 N. Broadway , Mobil Gas Station 1038 E. Main St. Carniceria El Amigo, 717 E. Main, and the Smoke Shop, 1612 N. Broadway, Nartatez said.

“A month prior, a similar operation was conducted, and only one of the 12 businesses sold to the minor,” Nartatez said.

“It is our hopes that businesses educate their employees to avoid citations,” he added.

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