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Katy ISD Police Uncover Smoke Shop Selling to Minors in Sting Operation


KATY MAGAZINE NEWS

November 22, 2019

By Natalie Cook Clark

The Katy ISD Police Department acted on suspicions that a local smoke shop near Taylor High School was selling tobacco products and vaping supplies to minors. Last Tuesday, in a multi-department effort, the agencies conducted a sting operation that involved a minor at the Still Smokin Smoke Shop on Provincial Boulevard. The operation confirmed suspicions and led to multiple citations.

Joint Operation Assembled Thanks to Student Tips

Katy ISD Police teamed up with the Harris County Sheriff's Office, Harris County Sheriff's Office Multi Agency Gang Task Force (MAGTF, ) Texas Comptroller’s Office, Cy Fair ISD, and Spring Branch ISD in this joint operation that took place on Tuesday November 19, 2019.


"We heard about this particular smoke shop by the way of a student that said this place was selling to minors," says Katy ISD Chief Robert Jinks. "Multiple students reported the same shop. One student did submit the tip through our Step Up App, the others was word of mouth and talking to our officers."

A Minor Went Undercover in a Controlled Operation

"We did not involve any of those students. We're part of the MAGTF and have an officer assigned to that task force. We asked him to help and he brought an undercover team," says Jinks.

Jinks could not comment on whether or not the minor involved was a Katy ISD student, but did state that the minor volunteered to assist in the operation.

Multiple Katy ISD Students Detained and Warned

Surveillance was conducted and the student tips were right. Minor juveniles were entering the store and purchasing tobacco products. The undercover minor juvenile entered the store and was able to purchase two packs of JUULS tobacco products. Katy ISD officers, HCSO patrol deputies, Special Agent with the Texas Comptroller’s Office and other law enforcement agency personnel detained the employee.