Sixteen convenience store clerks on Houston's southeast side have been cited for selling tobacco to minors, investigators said.
Harris County Precinct 7 deputy constables worked with teens in the community to purchase cigars and cigarettes under surveillance. Deputy constables then entered the store moments after the transactions were completed.
The clerks were issued citations and could be on the hook for a fine of up to $500. The store owners can also face fines and or revocation of their ability to sell tobacco products.
"Beyond the obvious health issue, it can lead to more dangerous drugs, so this is part of the process. We want to stop it before it gets started," Sgt. Robert Hebert said.
None of the clerks were arrested, but they are required to appear in front of a judge at a later date.