Scheme busted that would get teens beer with secret password - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Scheme busted that would get teens beer with secret password

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A secret word may have been all that separated underage buyers and the alcohol they were after, and undercover video tells the story.

Authorities say a ring of Middle Tennessee high school students knew just where to go, and saying the right thing let them walk out of a store carrying entire cases of beer.

The owner of that store is now in trouble, and investigators say it should serve as a warning to others.

Police say a parent of a Father Ryan High School student tipped them off to what was happening at the Stop N Shop on White Bridge Road.

Officers then sent in undercover teenagers to buy beer.

Surveillance video shows the clerk denying the teen at first, but he knows what to say: "Not even for $40?"

The clerk then checks outside for police, gets the beer, takes the teen's money and even loads the beer into the kid's car.

Investigators say they caught the clerk three times that night and the owner once.

Now, both are in trouble with the law.

"It makes me angry that anyone would jeopardize our young people just to make a dollar," said DeWayne Holman, executive director of the Nashville Prevention Partnership.

Investigators believe this has been going on for a year now, and mostly it was private school students who had been referred by another.

They say sometimes the store clerk would even pay homeless people to stand outside and keep an eye out for police.

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