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Hilltown Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, March 11, 2010

Underage alcohol sting nets seven arrests across county

By Zach Simeone

ALBANY COUNTY — Seven arrests were made last week for the sale of alcohol to an underage customer during a sting operation by the Albany County Sheriff’s Department.

On March 5, a 19-year-old agent was sent to 45 stores scattered across Albany County to buy alcohol. Arrests were made at seven of the 45 locations when cashiers made the sale to the agent, who was just two years shy of the legal drinking age of 21.

The name of the agent has not been released, but, when asked about the criteria for selecting the agent, Senior Investigator Shawn Spring said, “It has to be a person that looks the appropriate age and who does not have a criminal history. We wouldn’t use anyone who had a criminal history.”

The following individuals were arrested for selling alcohol to the 19-year-old:

— Karen Patnode, 44, of 1016 Knox Cave Road in Knox, was arrested at the Knox County Store, at 2160 Berne-Altamont Road in Knox;

— Diane Belott, 39, of 11 Green Acres Lane in Berne, was arrested at Stewart’s, 1001 Altamont Boulevard;

— Keith Cunningham, 19, of 82 Whipple Road in Knox, was arrested at Price Chopper, 2080 Western Avenue, Guilderland;

— Barry Slaton, 62, of 37 River Park Dr. in New Paltz, was arrested at a Mobil station in Delmar;

— Brian Cassidy, 23, of 90 Delmar Place, Delmar, was arrested at Delmar Beverage;

— Emily DePaula, 19, of 187 Maple Avenue, Selkirk, was arrested at Stewart’s, 1344 Route 9W, Selkirk; and

— Katie Myers, 18, of 7 1st St., Coeymans, was arrested at Shop ’n Save in Ravena.

Each was charged with one count of prohibited sale of alcohol, an unclassified misdemeanor, and one count of unlawfully dealing with a child, a Class A misdemeanor, and each was issued an appearance ticket.

Undersheriff Craig Apple talked on Monday about some possible consequences.

“If the person hasn’t been arrested for anything before, usually they’ll give the person a warning, and the case will be brought down to a lesser offense,” Apple told The Enterprise. “But then, usually the state liquor authority will get involved and, usually, there’s a fine for the storeowner, and possible suspension of their liquor license…Usually, the business owner bears the brunt of it financially.”

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