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There You Go, Buddy

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Boise Police officers orchestrated what they label a "shoulder-tap" operation last Thursday, citing six adults who bought beer for a teenage patsy at a pair of southeast Boise grocery stores. The officers also videotaped the incidents in order to show them at a press conference on Friday, and after viewing them, it was apparent to this author that the crime of buying alcohol for minors is probably the politest misdemeanor on the books. The teen--who was loaned to the police by the Idaho State Police's alcohol beverage control division--and the adults alike were paragons of good manners as they repeatedly pulled off the same deal: $20 for 12 Buds in bottles. One perp even delivered the goods with a pleasant, "There you go, buddy," while officers watched and listened from a nearby unmarked car. The charge for these enablers is the same as for store clerks who don't check IDs, and the penalties can range between $500 and $1,000 in fines, plus up to one year in jail.