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Riverside County (Opens in New Window)
Press Release: ABC Shoulder Tap Operation
Agency: Riverside County Sheriff’s Department
Station Area: Thermal
Written Date: January 23, 2020 Time: 11:30 PM
Incident Date: January 23, 2020 Time: 7:00 PM
Incident Location: Multiple locations within the city of Coachella
Reporting Officer: Sergeant Steve Davis
File Number(s): Y200230039, Y200230041


ABC Shoulder Tap Operation

The city of Coachella received a grant from California Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) for the 2019/2020 fiscal year.  The grant’s purpose is to assist law enforcement in combating different alcohol related offenses.

On January 23, 2020, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department conducted a program called a Decoy Shoulder Tap Operation which targets adults who purchase alcohol for people less than 21 years of age.

During the operation the following arrests were made:

Mark Ford, 32 of Thousand Palms was arrested for furnishing alcohol to a minor, possession of heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Dominic Rios, 56 of Coachella was arrested for furnishing alcohol to a minor.

Mark Ford Dominic Rios


Under the program, a minor under the direct supervision of a peace officer will stand outside a liquor or convenience store and ask patrons to buy them alcohol.  The minor indicates in some way he or she is underage and cannot purchase the alcohol.  If the adults agree to purchase alcohol for the minor, deputies then arrest and cite them for furnishing alcohol to the minor.  The penalty for furnishing alcohol to a minor is a minimum $1000 fine and 24 hours of community service. 

The program is intended to reduce the availability of alcohol to minors.  Statistics show they generally have a higher rate of drunk driving crashes than adults.  Studies also show the combination of alcohol and youth tends to increase criminal conduct.  According to the American Medical Association, underage drinking can increase chances of risky sexual behavior and teen pregnancy, juvenile delinquency, compromise health, and result in unintentional injury and death.

ABC is a Department of the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency.


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