Note: This did not happen specifically in Coalinga, but it could happen anywhere. The intent of this article is to make parents and others aware that this problem exists, and that this sort of activity is definitely illegal. This is a recent press release from the office of Fresno County Sheriff, Margaret Mims, and should be taken seriously.
Detectives assigned to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Task Force (SITF) have arrested 23 year old Ruben Dominguez of Dinuba. He has been booked into the Fresno County Jail on multiple felony charges of selling marijuana to minors. His bail is set at $20,000.
The arrest of Dominguez wraps up a three month long investigation. Detectives had developed information that the Dinuba man was using social media sites to illegally sell vaping products to minors. More specifically, they were flavored THC pods marketed under the name of STIIIZY. Detectives sent a minor decoy to meet Dominguez and purchase some of these pods. Once the transaction was complete, detectives arrested Dominguez.
This investigation was possible thanks to the Department of Justice’s Tobacco Grant Program. In October, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office was awarded $552,000 over the next three years to enforce the illegal sale of cigarettes, vaping materials and other tobacco products to minors. The Department of Justice’s Tobacco Grant Program is funded by Proposition 56 (Prop. 56), the California Healthcare, Research and Prevention Tobacco Tax Act of 2016. Beginning April 2017, Prop. 56 raised the cigarette tax by $2.00 per pack, with an equivalent increase on all other tobacco products. Prop. 56 also allocates millions of dollars annually to the Department of Justice for distribution to local law enforcement agencies for the support and hiring of peace officers for various activities.
In California, a person must be 21 years old to purchase tobacco products and only licensed cannabis businesses may sell products containing THC. To report illegal tobacco or cannabis sales, call (559) 600-3111 or submit tips to Valley Crime Stoppers at (559) 498-7867 or http://www.valleycrimestoppers.org You will remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.