The New York State Police kicked off 2024 by arresting several individuals for allegedly selling flavored nicotine vaping products to underage individuals.

Operation Vaporizer

Officials with the State Police say they spent the week leading up to the New Year holiday conducting what they called "Operation Vaporizer" in Oneida County. The task force that conducted the operation was made up of members of the Troop D Violent Gangs and Narcotics Unit and Uniform Troopers.

This operation was formed following several complaints from area school districts as school officials and parents began to see an uptick in teen vaping usage. New York prohibits the sale of nicotine or tobacco product to anyone under the age of 21.

State Police, along with the help of several local law enforcement agencies, worked together in an effort to help curb the sale of these products to teens.

During the course of the sting operation, six separate convenience stores were targeted and three were found to be in compliance. Three of those stores and respective clerks were found to not be in compliance and, as a result, are facing the consequences.

Non-Compliant Stores

According to State Police officials out of Troop D in Oneida, the following individuals and respective places of business were arrested and found to be in violation.

Vape Pen Photo Credit: Vaporesso @vaporesso on Unsplash
Vape Pen Photo Credit: Vaporesso @vaporesso on Unsplash

NC Smoke Shop - 13187 State Route 12 in Boonville (This location is a repeated offender). 18-year-old Leah J. Irish of Boonville was charged with Endangering the Welfare of a Child.

One Stop Deli - 14 College St Clinton. 31-year-old Mohamed K. Al Almeri of Clinton was charged with Endangering the Welfare of a Child.

Iron Lungs - 8215 Turin Rd Rome. 26-year-old Devin J. Riggleman of Rome was charged with Endangering the Welfare of a Child.

The Camden Gourmet Deli and Smoke Shop in Camden, Z1 Smoke Shop in Boonville and Royal Plus Shop in Lee were all found to be in compliance and had asked for proper identification.

Local and community leaders have praised the state police and other agencies for their commitment and vigilance in keeping youth safe. The age to purchase any nicotine or tobacco product in New York State is 21 years or older.

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