Undercover op leads to five arrests

Ridgecrest police officers conducted three operations during September and October in conjunction with the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control nd made five arrests during these operations, which were funded by ABC through the Grant Assistance Program.

Included were two shoulder-tap operations involving visits to seven businesses in Ridgecrest with off-sale alcohol licenses. During the operations, four persons at various locations were arrested for buying or furnishing alcohol to the minor decoy. The subjects were arrested and released on citation pending criminal action with the District Attorney’s Office.

An October minor decoy operation visited eight businesses in Ridgecrest with off-sale alcohol licenses; none of the clerks at these businesses sold alcohol to the decoy. However, during the operation, undercover detectives arrested William Patrick Howard for shoplifting from one of the businesses. Howard was later booked at the Kern County Jail for commercial burglary.

The Ridgecrest Police Department also conducted a series of impact inspections at businesses that sell alcohol within and around Ridgecrest. The purpose of the inspections was to make sure that the businesses were properly operating within the rules set by ABC in conjunction with the businesses’ licenses to sell alcohol to the public.

Story First Published: 2012-11-14