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.
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.