STAFFORD, VA (WWBT) – From banned to illegal business opportunity. Undercover agents are looking for people turning the illegal drink Four Loko into crazy cash.
It all started online. Undercover agents who work for Virginia ABC found people selling these drinks without a liquor license on Craigslist. If you've got a large supply and you're thinking about cashing in illegally, you could face some serious charges.
The demand for the banned version of the alcoholic caffeinated drink, Four Loko, has people doing anything to make a quick buck. Just yesterday, ABC special agents arrested a man for selling them illegally online.
"He was selling them at a very healthy markup," said Becky Gettings with Virginia ABC. "10 dollars a can, eight flavors so the undercover ABC agent bought eight cans of Four Loko for 80 dollars."
Agents are accusing Ramiro Diaz of illegally selling the drink on Craigslist without a license. While the offense is only a misdemeanor, many fans of the drink feel the charges are a bit harsh.
"I don't think that it's right for somebody to be arrested for simply trying to make a couple extra bucks," said Four Loko drinker, Shane Matthews. "It might be illegal but I don't think that he's trying to hurt anybody."
We searched on Craigslist online to see if we could find anyone selling Four Loko but we didn't find anything. Even though it's illegal, some of the people we spoke with said that they'd still buy it online if it was available.
"If it's illegal, no because I'm on camera," said Four Loko drinker, Dave Rothrock.
When asked what if he wasn't on camera he said sure!
"It's a fun drink," said Matthews. "If you're a little tired and you're getting ready to go out and have a good time you know it gives you a little spike of energy."
And while ABC agents crack down on the illegal sale of Four Loko, fans are willing to pay top dollar to get their hands on one.
"One can?" asked Rothrock. "I don't know ten bucks!"
Diaz was released on summons. If convicted he could be sentence to up to 12 months behind bars and or pay a $2,500 fine. The version of Four Loko with caffeine is banned. The makers are removing the caffeine, after the FDA got involved.