Police: 10 out of 12 Hoboken liquor stores in sting cited for underage sales

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HOBOKEN -

An undercover investigation into Hoboken liquor stores found that 10 of 12 stores investigated were selling alcohol to minors.

Hoboken Police Chief Ken Ferrante says that the investigation was conducted after some complaints from city residents.

“We began doing surveillance to see if these were valid complaints and it looked like it was possible,” Ferrante says. “So we thought the best way to attack this kind of complaint is to send in undercovers.”

Underage undercover Jersey City police officers were sent into 12 Hoboken liquor stores attempting to purchase alcohol. They were able to buy the products in 10 out of the 12. Only two involved in the sting checked identification and refused to sell to the undercovers.

The stores cited include:

  • Village Market at 702 Washington St.
  • Cork Wine & Spirits at 1450 Washington St.
  • Blue Ribbon at 450 1st St.
  • Daniel Liquors at 87 Garden St.
  • Ottomanellis at 422 Monroe St.
  • Hoboken Discount Liquors at 98 Willow Ave.
  • Augie's Liquors at 419 Adams St.
  • Sasso's Deli at 1038 Garden St.
  • Hoboken Vine at 400 Newark St.
  • Yash Liquors at 1004 Washington St.

Hoboken is known for having alcohol-related problems when it comes to the bar scene. But Ferrante says that he didn’t know that the problem was so widespread involving liquor stores.

“We said, ‘Let’s see if we have a liquor store problem. And to get 10 out of 12 on the first night out, that’s pretty alarming,” he says. “We know we have to be aggressive to make sure that’s stopping.”

Ferrante says that this was an eye-opener for him. He says that his Alcohol Beverage Control Unit will continue the investigation and do more undercover stings.

Some of the stores were also found to be selling hard alcohol after 10 p.m., which is illegal in New Jersey. The stores charged in the sting face fines, suspensions or even a loss of license.

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