News Story


Sheriff?s Office Participates in California?s Largest Decoy Shoulder Tap Operation Ever
3/19/2012 7:09:00 AM


Nature of Incident:

Sheriff's Office Participates in California's Largest Decoy Shoulder Tap Operation Ever


Report Number:

12-05884, 12-05988



Date & Time:

March 16, 2012

Unit Responsible:

Camarillo Police Department

(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (W)itnesses (D)ecedent

City of Residence


Hilts, Donna

Weal, Jordan


Thousand Oaks





Investigators from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) and Deputies from the Ventura County Sheriff's Office joined forces with more than 90 law enforcement agencies on Friday, March 16, 2012 in the largest Decoy Shoulder Tap Operation ever assembled in California.


The task force operation resulted in 393 arrests statewide.  Three hundred individuals were cited for furnishing alcoholic beverages to minors, 93 were arrested for other crimes such as public drunkenness, DUI, parole violations and outstanding warrants.  The operation was conducted statewide for the first time ever.


ABC Investigators and deputies conducted a program called a Decoy Shoulder Tap Operation which can lead to the arrest of adults who purchase alcohol for people less than 21 years of age.  Under the program, a minor under the direct supervision of a peace officer will stand outside a liquor or convenience store and ask patrons to buy them alcohol.  The minor indicates in some way he or she is underage and cannot purchase the alcohol. 


If the adults agree to purchase alcohol for the minor, deputies then arrest and cite them for furnishing alcohol to the minor.  Sixteen individuals were contacted by a minor decoy at various locations in Camarillo and two, Donna Hilts and Jordan Weal, agreed to purchase alcohol for the minor.  Both were issued misdemeanor citations for furnishing alcohol to a minor.  The penalty for furnishing alcohol to a minor is a minimum $1,000 fine and 24 hours of community service. 


The program is intended to reduce the availability of alcohol to minors.  According to the American Medical Association, underage drinking can increase chances of risky sexual behavior and teen pregnancy, juvenile delinquency, compromise health, and result in unintentional injury and death.


Local operations were funded by the California Alcoholic Beverage Control through the department's Grant Assistance Program (GAP).  ABC is a Department of the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency.


Deputy Preparing Media Release:

Capt. Bill Ayub

Media Release Date:

March 17, 2012

Follow-Up Contact:

Capt. Bill Ayub (805) 494-8260