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      Undercover sting uncovers drugs, illegal gambling at Flint party stores

      Police discover a fake gun in the trunk of a car outside of a party store.

      They're agents on a mission, deployed in bullet-proof vests - some undercover - to party stores in some of Flint's most violent neighborhoods.

      "We've never done this before, but we've not seen this kind of violence before in the previous years of our grant,?? said Lt. Tim Jones with the Flint Township Police Department.

      The undercover sting is funded by a grant from the Genesee County Community Mental Health. The program employs 18- and 19-year-old decoys to help police conduct liquor compliance checks, but Tuesday night??s sting called for trained officers.

      Several police agencies, along with the Flint Area Narcotics Group, or FANG team, got ready to "out?? stores that sell alcohol to underage customers. They didn??t need to step foot inside though, before smelling some other suspicious activity.

      "We actually were having undercover officers seeing hand-in-hand drug deals right in front of the stores, in store parking lots, that resulted in foot chases,?? Lt. Jones said.

      Officers recovered weapons and crack cocaine. They made two felony drug arrests. Once inside the stores, officers conducted liquor compliance checks, but something else happening inside caught their eye - illegal gambling. Police confiscated 6 gambling machines from two stores.

      Lt. Jones says in-store gambling is a growing trend that's becoming more sophisticated. Police said some party stores use workers as "lookouts" who will shut machines down when they suspect police nearby.

      ??Unfortunately, I don't know if that's a sign of desperation because of lost business, I don't have the answer for that,?? Lt. Jones said.

      But the answer to any kind of illegal activity, whether in the parking lot or in the stores is, ??It won't be tolerated.??