LOCH SHELDRAKE – In an effort to prevent underage drinking in and around the SUNY Sullivan campus in Loch Sheldrake, the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office on Friday conducted a check of nearby retail establishments in Loch Sheldrake, Hurleyville and Liberty.
In three cases, store clerks were seen by sheriff’s deputies selling alcohol to an underage person.
At Loch Sheldrake Wine and Liquors on Route 52, Jitendraprasad Patel, 74, was arrested after an underage student bought a bottle of whiskey. At the Loch Sheldrake Exxon on Route 52, Manishaben Patel, 39, was arrested after an underage person purchased a six-pack of beer. At the Mobil gas station on Main Street in Hurleyville, Niraliben Patel, 30, was arrested when he sold beer to an underage person. It was unknown if the three men arrested in this latest check are related.
In all three cases, the underage person was never asked to provide ID proving his age. All three men who were arrested were charged with prohibited sale of alcoholic beverages and they were issued appearance tickets to town court.
Five other stores near the college were checked and all refused to sell alcohol without proper ID.
Sheriff Michael Schiff said his office took action after receiving information that underage students were able to buy alcohol at establishments near the college.
“Most businesses comply with the law,” Schiff said. “Unfortunately, there were three that did not.” He said his deputies would be stepping up efforts to address underage drinking in order to prevent unwanted tragedies involving county youth.