Four people were arrested Saturday night for selling e-liquid nicotine to minors at businesses, Suffolk County police said.
According to a police news release, the arrests were made between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. after Fifth Precinct Crime Section officers and authorities from the Suffolk County Department of Health Services’ Tobacco Regulation Enforcement Unit conducted an investigation into the sale of e-liquid nicotine to minors. The legal age to purchase tobacco and nicotine products in Suffolk County is 21.
Police said they had received complaints about illegal sales within the area of the Fifth Precinct in southern Suffolk County, and that as part of the probe 10 businesses were checked for compliance.
Those arrested were charged with endangering the welfare of a child.
Police identified those arrested as Richard Gottcent, 22, of Islip Terrace, who works at Island Hookah on West Main Street in Sayville; Joseph Ryan, 23, of Patchogue, an employee at the Juice Box on Main Street in Holbrook; Mukdam Badani, 32, of Bellport, who is employed at Bellport Smoke Shop on Montauk Highway in Bellport; and Michael Cuhadarotlu, 52, of Deer Park, who works at the Valero gas station on Montauk Highway in Oakdale.
Police said the clerks were issued field appearance tickets and are scheduled to appear in First District Court in Central Islip on Sept. 25.
The owners of the businesses were also issued notices of violation by the Suffolk County Department of Health Services.