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Tobacco Sting Operation



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Tobacco Sting Operation

In a September 27 sting operation, town police charged four employees of four local stores with infractions for illegally selling cigarettes to underage buyers.

Detective Sergeant Henry Stormer said that he and school resource officer Robert Koetsch and youth officer Dana Schubert teamed up with the tobacco compliance unit of the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) in the sting operation.

Underage agents sanctioned by DMHAS entered 30 local businesses attempting to buy cigarettes. They purchased cigarettes in four places, police said. Connecticut law requires tobacco product purchasers to be at least 18.

Charged in the sting operation were: Mark Sidwell, 18, of 7 Hi Barlow Road, an employee of CVS Pharmacy on Queen Street; Nilesh Vyas, 36, of Brookfield, an employee of Newtown Convenience on Church Hill Road; Diane Celello, 28, of 29 Riverside Road, an employee of Thomas’s Deli on Route 34;  Nicholas Centopani, 70, of Bridgeport, an employee of Stop & Save Liquor of Newtown on South Main Street.

All those charged have October 13 answer dates in Danbury Superior Court. Those charged may mail in a $200 fine, or plead not guilty to the charge.

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