Springfield man charged, accused of selling cigarettes to underage informant

A Springfield man has been charged after allegedly selling cigarettes to an underage undercover Ohio Department of Public Safety informant during a tobacco compliance check.

Jasvinder Chhoker, 44, of Springfield, has been charged with illegal distribution of tobacco. The charge is a 4th-degree misdemeanor and holds a maximum penalty of a $250 fine and 30 days in jail.

According to Chhoker’s arrest record, two Ohio Department of Public Safety agents and a 15-year-old informant were conducting a tobacco compliance check on Dec. 17 at Clark Gas Station, located at 936 W. North St. in Springfield, when the illegal sale allegedly occurred.

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The record says the 15-year-old informant was provided with an audio recorder and a $20 bill but was not given an Ohio identification card or driver’s license.

“The confidential informant approached the tobacco product check-out lane and was greeted by on-duty clerk later identified as Jasvinder Chhoker,” the arrest record said. “The confidential informant requested a pack of Marlboro Gold brand cigarettes.”

Chhoker grabbed the pack of cigarettes, rang the sale into the cash register and then requested payment, the arrest record said.

“The confidential informant handed Chhoker that $20 bill,” the arrest record said. “Chhoker made change from the cash register and handed back change to the confidential informant. The confidential informant removed the cigarettes from the counter and exited the permit premises.”

The informant met the two agents outside the store, the arrest record said.

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“At no time during the transaction did Chhoker ask the confidential informant for her identification to verify her age as being 21 years of age or older,” the arrest record said.

The agents then entered the stores, explained to Chhoker that a tobacco compliance check had taken place and placed him under arrest.

Chhoker was not listed as an inmate in the Clark County Jail as of Monday morning.

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