Earlier this month, an employee at a Brooklyn bodega was arrested for selling alcohol to a minor in an undercover sting operation. On the advice of his lawyer he entered a guilty plea and paid the $120 fine, but that was before he found out that there is in-store video footage that appears to vindicate him.
In the video below, you can see the undercover cop enter the store wearing a white hooded sweatshirt. He attempts to purchase a Smirnoff Ice (which should have been a sign that he was underage) but you can see the store employee turn him down when he saw the man was not yet 21.
“I did everything right,” the man tells the NY Daily News. “I asked for the ID. I told him no.”
It was another customer in the store who actually purchased the beverage then exchanged for cash with the undercover officer outside the store.
Both the employee and the man who purchased the alcohol were later arrested for selling booze to a minor.
The police claimed that even though the store didn’t sell the Smirnoff Ice to the cop, an arrangement was made between the two other men in sight of the store employee.
There is no audio on the video so it’s hard to say whether or not that is true. Regardless, there were several other customers around the counter at the time that the undercover officer was turned away, so it’s possible the employee didn’t notice.
The Daily News says that prosecutors have seen the video and are considering the idea of vacating the man’s conviction.