OKEECHOBEE — This month, members of the Okeechobee Narcotics Task Force conducted an undercover operation targeting e-cigarette/vape pens sales to underage minors within Okeechobee.
Several stores about which the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office has received numerous complaints of the stores selling vape pens/e-cigarettes to underage minors were targeted.
During the operation, ten stores were targeted with underage minors to purchase vape pens/e-cigarettes from four different businesses, each without providing identification to show proof of age. (Per Florida statute 569, it is unlawful to sell or give tobacco to a person under the age of 21, which is a second-degree misdemeanor.)
The following four stores Bill’s Mini Mart, Town Star Hwy 710, One Stop Food Store, and the Tobacco Store, and the following individuals were issued a criminal summons for the violation: David Troy Karratti, 35; Caitlin Ann Murphy, 18; Delaine Ann-Marie Henry, 52; and, Edward Thomas Lundsford, 38.
The Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office will continue conducting random undercover operations of local businesses selling vape pens/e-cigarettes to underage minors.
OCSO appreciates those who came forward and provided information about the targeted establishments. Want to leave a tip, as these tipsters did, call 863-763-7787 and leave a message at the beep.