LA MESA, Calif. - Agents with Alcohol and Beverage Control invited 10News to ride along Saturday as they conducted a "Shoulder Tap Operation," where an underage decoy stands outside a liquor store and asks people to buy alcohol.
Of the five stores in La Mesa, only two people were arrested, including a man who claims to be a retired police officer. The man first refused to buy the 19-year-old alcohol but then changed his mind. She handed him $20 and asked for a six-pack. He returned with her change and gave her a 12-pack.
The suspect claims the woman told him she was 21 years old but she said she never lied about her age. The man added that he had a lot on his mind and was on his way to the hospital.
"She had a very soft voice and said, 'Can you buy me beer?' She said something about an ID and I thought about it, OK," he said.
This is the third year since the crackdown started. In 2012, there were 435 people arrested. Last year, 506 people were busted.
Contributing alcohol to a minor is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $1,000, community service and even possibly jail time.