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Five caught buying alcohol for minors Five citations...

February 27, 2004

Five caught buying alcohol for minors

Five citations were issued in an undercover operation police used

to catch adults who buy liquor for minors.

On Feb. 20, police carried out a "shoulder-tap" operation around

various stores that sell alcoholic beverages in the city. During the

operation, an undisclosed 18-year-old "decoy" asked adults to

purchase liquor while under the surveillance of detectives.

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Police said several adults refused to make illegal purchases, but

five men were cited on suspicion of buying liquor for the decoy.

From Laguna Beach, Brian Taylor, 29, Jose Carmona Molina, 24, and

Jeffrey Kordick, 39, received citations. Also cited were 38-year-old

Dana Point resident Anthony Glenn and 21-year-old Newport Beach

resident Andrew Crookall.

Police conduct this style of alcohol-related undercover operation

several times each year, Sgt. Darin Lenyi said.

Alcohol purchased for the decoy was returned to stores, he said.

Drug bust nabs pizzeria employees

Three employees at a pizza restaurant were arrested on suspicion

of drug violations after police received a tip from a "citizen

informant."

Police said they received information that employees at the

Dominos Pizza in the 1100 block of South Coast Highway were using

drugs. Detectives arrived at the restaurant at about 8:05 p.m. on

Feb. 20.

Police searched the restaurant, several employees and cars

belonging to restaurant workers. Six detectives, two Alcoholic

Beverage Control investigators and a drug-sniffing dog conducted the

search, Sgt. Darin Lenyi said.

The store was shut down for 30 to 45 minutes during the

investigation, he said.

More than one gram of cocaine, nine grams of methamphetamine, and

two drug pipes were found in the search, police said.

Lamberto Perez, Mark Dotson, and Milton Gutierrez were taken into

custody on suspicion of possessing illegal drugs.

Perez, 34, of Santa Ana was arrested on suspicion of possessing

cocaine and methamphetamine for sale. Police believe he intended to

sell drugs because he was allegedly caught with what police say were

sales records typically kept by drug dealers. Additionally, he

reportedly possessed drugs that were bundled separately.

"He had more than one package of drugs, when you have more than

one it's usually conducive to sales," Lenyi said.

Also found in the search was $900 of counterfeit cash that had

been stashed in a locker.

"It's believed to be the property of an employee that no longer

works there, and we're investigating that," Lenyi said.

Police credited the restaurant's owner, Russ Varner, for

cooperating with the search. For his part, Varner praised the

officers' efforts.

"They helped me out more than we helped them," Varner said.

-- Andrew Edwards

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