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Peekskill Police: Clerks Sold Alcohol to Minors

PEEKSKILL, N.Y. --  City police officers conducting alcohol compliance checks arrested two individuals Friday in two separate incidents.

Dineshkum Patel, 63, of Croton, the owner of the Quick Food Mart, located at 925 Washington St, and Romulo Ledemsa, 32, of Peekskill, a clerk at the Sunoco Gas Station, located at 800 N. Division St., were each charged with prohibited sale of alcohol to a minor, a misdemeanor.

Sergeant Len Mignini and Officer Carl DeMarco, working with an underage agent, attempted to purchase alcohol from 16 licensed establishments in the city. While 14 of these establishments refused to sell to the underage agent, two did not and the clerks were subsequently arrested.

Both men were issued appearance tickets to appear in city court on Nov. 10 to answer the charges.

"The 14 establishments who refused to sell and challenged the underage agent are commended for their commitment to ensuring alcohol does not end up in the hands of the underage," said Peekskill Police spokesman Lt. Eric Johansen. "The fact, however, that we are still finding establishments who do not take the responsibility that comes with having license to sell alcohol seriously is disturbing as we have all seen the tragic consequences that are often the result.

In addition to the criminal charges the clerks are facing, each of the establishments that illegally sold alcohol face heavy fines and/or the suspension or revocation of their liquor licenses by the New York State Liquor Authority.

City police have conducted these investigations on a regular basis and will continue checking licensed establishments at random to combat underage drinking, Johansen said.

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