Two Riverhead clerks busted in state police alcohol sting

08/22/2012 8:00 AM |

Clerks at two Riverhead stores were busted last Wednesday in a state police sting operation that found the clerks sold alcohol to minors, authorities said.

State troopers out of the Riverside Barracks sent an underage operative into local stores as part of an initiative to stop underage drinking, police said.

In the first arrest, troopers conducted the operation at the USA Gas and Food Mart on East Main Street in Riverhead about 6:45 p.m., according to police.

Rewie Kamta, 22, of Riverhead was arrested and charged with first-degree unlawfully dealing with a child and prohibited sale of an alcoholic beverage, both misdemeanors, officials said. He was released on an ticket to appear in Riverhead Justice Court.

In the second case, Christopher Costantini, 22, of Riverhead was arrested at Michael’s Wines and Liquors on East Main Street about 7:40 p.m., police said. Mr. Costantini was also charged with first-degree unlawfully dealing with a child and prohibited sale of an alcoholic beverage, both misdemeanors, and released on an appearance ticket.

This was the second time this year that a clerk at the USA Gas and Food Mart has been arrested for selling alcohol to underage customers.

In May, Ravinder Parkash, 58, of Riverhead, who was working as a cashier at the time, was arrested after he allegedly sold the minor an unspecified type and amount of alcohol during a similar state police sting, officials said.

Mr. Parkash was charged with unlawfully dealing with a child and alcoholic beverage control law prohibited sale of alcohol to a minor, both misdemeanors. His case in town court is still ongoing, court officials said.

State police said the New York State Liquor Authority is responsible for overseeing compliance with state liquor laws, and may levy fines or other penalties if a business is caught selling alcohol to minors. State liquor authorities could not be reached for comment.

Both Mr. Costantini and Mr. Kamta are due in Riverhead Justice Court on Aug. 29.

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