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Busted, again and again and again 

Local tobacco police are not too happy with the Laguna Lake Shell service station in SLO, and it's not the higher-than-usual gas prices that have prompted their ire.

It's because the station has been busted three times, all within a year, for selling cigarettes to minors.

"This is ridiculous," said Trina Long, who is the Health Education Specialist for SLO County's Tobacco Control Program, after the place committed the third offense recently during a sting operation. "It's the third time in one year that this location has sold cigarettes to one of our youth decoys."

The Shell station faces a fine of up to $1,000 and a suspension from selling tobacco products for a year.

Six stings have been conducted since January of 2004, netting 32 illegal sales, but none so flagrant.

-K.H.

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