TRILBY, Fla. (WFLA) – It’s not the sort of thing you expect to be on sale at a Pasco County Citgo station.
Next to the Slim Jims and lottery tickets, deputies say they found crack and meth pipes out in the open.
The items were right there, according to deputies, in a glass case at the register, ready for sale.
Monday night, four uniformed deputies visited the Citgo at Trilby Road and US. 98 and found the items.
News Channel 8 asked a clerk about the items. “Were they selling meth and crack pipes here?”
“Nope,” the clerk answered.
The clerk at the store insisted he knows nothing about the items deputies say they found.
Pasco deputies got a tip about the items on sale. This comes after several much-publicized past raids by Sheriff Nocco, on stores selling pipes and spice throughout Pasco County.
Pasco County Deputy Danni Murphy said store owners need to follow the law.
“Guess people can’t take the hint. But, hopefully this is a good example of what happens if people keep selling drug paraphernalia at their stores,” she said.
Stores can sell certain items, but they must display a sign, posted at the entrance, stating drug paraphernalia is located on the premises, and people under 18 are prohibited without a parent or guardian.
Deputy Murphy said she didn’t see any signs at the Citgo.
”No sign at all,” she said.
The only signs out front advertise beer, cigarettes, deli and groceries.
“Especially when it’s right there at eye level with six or seven-year-olds. As soon as you walk into a gas station, I mean, that’s not really setting a great example to our youth,” said Deputy Murphy.
A clerk said a manager was not available.
“I can’t reach nobody right now,” he said.
The store owner’s son got a misdemeanor citation and $56,018 fine.
“I think $56,000 would give me a good wind to stop whatever I’m selling,” Deputy Murphy said.
Citgo sent News Channel 8 this statement:
“CITGO prohibits the sale of illegal drugs at all CITGO-branded gas station locations, which are locally-owned and operated by independent Marketers and Retailers. CITGO also prohibits sale of items that may be legal but are disparaging to the CITGO brand, including drug paraphernalia of the type mentioned in the reports. Any CITGO-branded station found to be selling these products is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including de-branding. CITGO is committed to the safety of customers in the communities it serves, and we will work with local law enforcement to prevent the sale of dangerous drugs and paraphernalia from our branded stations.”