5 DeKalb stores plead guilty after caught selling tobacco to minors


Five DeKalb retailers attended a tobacco hearing on Friday after they were caught selling cigarettes to minors during police-organized stings.

Rather than go through the hearing, the owners from each establishment in attendance pled guilty and agreed to pay a $250 fine with a $50 court reporter fee.

The DeKalb establishments were La Salsa Market, 1011 W. Hillcrest Drive; DeKalb Mobil, 2400 Sycamore Road; Bockman’s Auto Repair, 705 E. Lincoln Highway; 7-Eleven Food Store, 930 Annie Glidden Road; and Super Pantry #27, 1102 N. First St.

Super Pantry and 7-Eleven were present for violations given Nov. 6; La Salsa Market, Bockman’s Auto Repair and DeKalb Mobil were present for violations Jan. 16.

All were second-time violators. A first-time violation requires police to counsel the owners about an employee selling tobacco to a minor. City Attorney Norma Guess said if there is no second violation within 12 months after the first, then no action is taken.

None of the owners contested the punishment and stated before the city attorney what systems or processes each store had in place to stop the sales of cigarettes to minors and what each owner is doing to make sure employees are responsible.

Prasenjeet Majumdar, owner of the 7-Eleven, questioned the city attorney about how much more he can be held responsible for his employees’ actions.

“We want to know what else we can do to prevent this,” Majumdar said. “It’s not completely our fault.”

In Majumdar’s case, he had not known he had been written up for the violation until much later.

This caused the city attorney to discuss at another time with the city council a policy to notify owners if they passed or failed the stings.

As for the employees who had sold the cigarettes, it is up to the owners to decide what happens to them. Super Pantry and 7-Eleven terminated employees; Bockman’s Auto Repair and DeKalb Mobil have suspended theirs, and La Salsa Market’s employee is still working.