DETROIT (WJBK) - A Detroit liquor store is under fire for allegedly selling cigarettes to minors - the employees say it was either comply or face violence.
"We love Detroit," said Sam Kesto. "We invest in Detroit."
But lately Sam Kesto who owns 3 Star Market says doing business in Detroit has been far from easy. The FDA has been cracking down on party stores selling tobacco to minors. So far Kesto and his business has been cited six times.
He showed FOX 2 surveillance video of undercover federal workers making the buy. In this case the store employee asks for the ID. The problem was the girl with the woman was underage.
But the more Kesto and his employees card customers - the more those who don't have an ID or are underage retaliate with threats and violence.
There are bullet holes Kesto says from the store being shot at, after they were denied.
"They were mad because I wouldn't sell them any tobacco," said Chris Kesto. "They will tell us when we are closed they will come after us at night threaten us."
"They get so upset they think we are the reason, not the law," Sam Kesto said. "We try to obey the law but we are losing our safety."
Kesto is now facing a choice - because this is the store's sixth offense, it has to shut down tobacco sales for six months or pay a $60,000 fine.
FOX 2: "Are you going to close down for six months?"
"If they insist I rather close and go home," Kesto said. "We tried for 21days hurt our business so much, it's safety-wise. I say 'Sorry lost my license'- and that's when they start using language sometimes using weapons and it is not worth it."
Kesto says he is not alone, several of his fellow liquor store owners are going through the same thing and they wonder why there is such a crackdown on underage tobacco sales - when law enforcement "turns a blind eye" to apparent drug sales in the store's parking lot.
"It's not fair they are hitting us so hard not fair," he said.
Kesto claims that employees from store have called Detroit police and nothing happened, but other times they did not call fearing DPD would not come.