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Cortland bar has license suspended over alleged sales to minors

Cortland County

A Cortland bar is getting its license suspended after an investigation found they served more than 100 minors.

According to the State Liquor Authority, the Stone Lounge on South Main Street can not serve alcohol starting today. The suspension comes after the alleged sale of alcohol to 111 minors, authorities said.

Of the minors arrested between September and October, 17 of them had a fake IDs, including someone as young as 16. The SLA alleges the bar would allow anyone to enter as long as the ID presented was successfully scanned, regardless of whether the ID resembled the person presenting it.

During a sting on October 31st, Cortland Police conducted an undercover operation using three underage agents. The police provided the agents with false IDs confiscated from previous operations, the SLA says. One agent was denied entry to the bar because the ID failed to scan, however the other two were allowed in even though the IDs they were "patently fake," featuring different eye colors and heights.

“While ID scanners can be a valuable tool for compliance, they only work for licensees interested in following the law,” said Counsel to the Authority Christopher R. Riano. “The Stone Lounge’s specious ID policy was simply a smokescreen, feigning compliance in a failed attempt to deceive law enforcement. The SLA sent a clear message today that bar owners that place making a profit above public health and safety will lose the privilege of holding a liquor license.”

The Stone Lounge is facing 114 violations, including 111 illegal sales to minors, failure to supervise the premise, for creating a sustained pattern of disorder, and for becoming a focal point for police attention, the SLA said.

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