Nineteen establishments that sell liquor were put to the test on April 9 as Riverhead Town Police and State Liquor Authority agents made the rounds. They were looking for establishments that allow minors to purchase liquor, and arrested four clerks who allegedly did so.
Though police did not give details, the raids are typically conducted by sending a young-looking agent into the store, usually to buy beer. If the sale is made, the agents pounce.
Raja Shahzad, 60, of Riverhead, was arrested at 7-Eleven, 1050 Old Country Road; Adem Sari, 39, of Riverhead, was arrested at American Gas, 1427 Main Road, Jamesport; Osama Naeem, 23, of Riverhead, was arrested at Mobil, 415 East Main Street, Riverhead. Janaka Wijepala Mohottalage, 44, of Riverhead, was arrested at Mobil, 1575 Old Country Road. All were charged with unlawfully dealing with a child in the first degree, police said. All were processed and released on desk appearance tickets, according to the release.
Authorities pointed out that most of the other establishments tested passed without incident. They were: Valero, 4904 Rt. 25A, Wading River and the Exxon, Conoco, and Bolla Market, all on Route 25 in Calverton. In Riverhead, passing the test were Speedway, 7-Eleven (162 Old Country Road) and Empire, all on Old Country Road; the Citgo at 1050 Osborne Avenue; OK Petro and Riverhead Stationery, both located on East Main Street; and Time to Eat and Riverhead Supermarket and Deli, both on West Main Street. Also passing the test was Aquebogue Mini Mart, 640 Main Road, Aquebogue.
These checks are part of an ongoing effort by the Riverhead Town Police Department to ensure New York State Liquor Authority and New York State Penal Law compliance for the sale of alcohol to minors, police said.