Ames PD sting nets 7 for alcohol violations

Corey Aldritt

CORRECTION: The word “minor” was incorrectly used. Instead, it should have read “persons under the legal age limit.” A minor is a person who is under the age of 18, while someone who is under the legal age is under the age of 21. The Daily regrets the error.

Buying alcohol for minors not only makes the cashier think you’re a heavy drinker – it’s also illegal.

The Ames Police Department performed a undercover mission Friday to catch those buying alcohol for minors.

Seven people were arrested for purchasing alcohol for minors. Of the seven that were arrested, five are current ISU students, one is an alumnus and one is from Cedar Falls.

“We’re hoping people will abide by the law and refrain from buying alcohol for minors,” said Ames Patrol Cmdr. Jim Robinson.

Robinson said there were plainclothes officers in at least three different Ames locations: East Ames Hy-Vee, 640 Lincoln Way; Hy-Vee Wine and Spirits, 3609 Lincoln Way; and Kum and Go, 4510 Mortensen Road.

“[Purchasing alcohol for minors is] a serious misdemeanor, which is at the same level as drunk driving,” Robinson said.

Serious misdemeanors have a penalty of up to one year in prison and up to $1,500 in fines.

Robinson declined to comment on how often these undercover operations happen.

“It’s not an everyday affair, but there is always a possibility that there is an undercover officer there,” Robinson said.

Robinson said there are many different cues for telling if someone is buying for a minor.

He said officers could tell just by listening to conversations or by seeing the liquor hand-off in the parking lot.

All of the underage individuals who were caught with alcohol received a citation, which can run upwards of $314.

The seven individuals who were arrested were Matthew Moser, senior in marketing, Jonathan Vaage, junior in architecture, Jason Sankey, senior in finance, Ali Surel, senior in electrical engineering, Samuel Wagner, junior in aerospace engineering, Tyler Ramaekers of Overland Park, Kan., and Jennifer Kirchhoff, a UNI student from Cedar Falls.

The five ISU students could not immediately be reached for comment.