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Shoulder tap operation

Santa Maria Police conducted a "shoulder tap" operation Saturday. Two men were arrested and charged with furnishing alcohol to a minor. A third was charged for consumption of an alcoholic beverage on private property open to the public.

The Santa Maria Police Department nabbed two men, who were caught purchasing alcohol for a minor decoy in a "shoulder tap" operation Saturday.

Antonio Dominguez Vazquez, 33, of Santa Maria, was charged with furnishing alcohol to a minor and booked on a misdemeanor warrant.

Phillip Saldana Becerra, 35, of Santa Maria, was charged with furnishing alcohol to a minor and driving with a suspended driver’s license.

Also during the sting, Gabriel Rojas Valencia, 65, of Santa Maria, was charged for consumption of an alcoholic beverage on private property open to the public.

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Saturday's operation was attempted at six different locations of “off-sale establishments" in Santa Maria, where the 17-year-old minor decoy contacted 21 individuals, according to police.

The shoulder tap program is intended to reduce the availability of alcoholic beverages to minors. Statistics show that teens have a greater rate of drunken-driving crashes than adults. 

Funding is provided by a California Alcoholic Beverage Control grant that was awarded to the Santa Maria and Guadalupe police departments.

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