Howard County police charged three liquor clerks in Jessup and Columbia with selling alcohol to a minor after unannounced liquor inspections Thursday, police said.
Criminal citations were issued to:
* James Malone Gillis Sr., 67, of Jessup Discount Liquors in the 7800 block of U.S. 1.
* Robert Andrew Hopkins, 43, of Three Nines Tavern in the 7700 block of U.S. 1.
* Charles Linford McConnell, 23, of Richburn Liquors in the 6000 block of Foreland Garth in Long Reach village.
In each case, police used an 18-year-old cadet wearing plainclothes to buy liquor.
The cadet typically enters a store, picks out a six pack of beer and tries to buy it at the front counter, police said.
A liquor inspector lingers nearby to witness the sale.
If the cadet is allowed to purchase alcohol without providing proper identification, the clerk is charged in a criminal citation.
Cashiers who are cited may be fined up to $1,000 and could spend up to two years in jail.
The owners of the liquor stores must appear before the county liquor board and could have their licenses suspended, police said.
Four other businesses passed the liquor inspection that same day:
* Cooksville Carry-out.
* Marguerita Maggie's in Columbia.
* Pine Orchard Liquors in Ellicott City.
* 7-Eleven on Frederick Road in Ellicott City.