Police in Mankato, a city with a troubled recent track record involving underage drinking, hit the jackpot last weekend when they broke up a party that netted them 127 citations -- most for that exact violation.

"It's the way we have to do business here to curb our alcohol problem," said police Commander Craig Frericks.

"It's an issue for any town that has a college like we do."

In recent years, a handful of Minnesota State University, Mankato students have died in alcohol-related incidents.

Seventy-three students were arrested for underage drinking off campus during a one-night police sweep in August. And in 2003, an alcohol-fueled riot erupted during homecoming weekend.

Police Cmdr. Matt DuRose says he hopes the bust, which came on the first weekend of the new semester, will set the tone for the term: that the department will have a zero-tolerance approach.

Responding to a nearby resident's complaint late Friday, police arrived at a house on North 4th St., where they found people wandering the property and fleeing into the house.

Backed up by officers from the Blue Earth County Sheriff's Office, the State Patrol and North Mankato police, officers handed out the citations.

In addition to the under-age drinking tickets, police issued three citations to people providing false information to police.

Four were arrested on charges of unlawful assembly, disorderly conduct and furnishing alcohol to minors.

"It was a very large party in a private residence, and a number of people were uncooperative," Frericks said.