Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office investigation leads to arrest

    Anchorage, Alaska (KINY) - A months-long joint investigation has resulted in the arrest of one individual and an arrest warrant for another individual for unlawfully selling alcohol to Anchorage’s most vulnerable populations, its addicted and homeless citizens.

    On Friday, May 12, investigators from the Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office and officers assigned to the Anchorage Police Department’s Community Action Policing (CAP) and Traffic Unit, served an arrest warrant on Brandon Reed.

    Another arrest warrant has yet to be served on his co-defendant Andrew Tyone.

    AMCO’s investigation, led by Chief James Hoelscher, revealed that Reed and his accomplice regularly purchased high-proof, Kirkland’s American vodka from a Costco package along with a stock of water bottles.

    Reed would then empty the water bottles, fill them with vodka, and sell them at a significant profit to the homeless.

    Reed would regularly travel to the Sullivan Arena and other areas the homeless are known to congregate to sell the bottles.

    From Jan. 3, 2022, to May 11, 2023, Reed purchased 3,503 750ml-liter bottles of vodka, amounting to approximately $50,763 in Kirkland Vodka purchases.

    It is suspected that Reed and Tyone sold the vodka to the homeless at $10 per water bottle totaling an estimated $140,120 in illegal alcohol sales.

    AMCO suspects the sales started prior to Jan. 2022 and are currently investigating the extent of time this activity has been conducted.

    “This enterprise victimized an extremely vulnerable population,” said Joan Wilson, AMCO’s Director. “The volume of vodka this one man and his accomplice allegedly sold to the people experiencing homelessness in Anchorage, at a great personal profit, is staggering. The impact of those sales to individuals and the citizens of Anchorage who want and deserve a safe place to live has yet to be measured.”

    Reed was arrested on May 12, 2023, on two counts of selling alcohol without a permit, one count of reckless endangerment, and one count of driving with a revoked license.

    Bond was set at $250.

    An arrest warrant is still outstanding for Andrew Tyone.

    Both Mr. Reed and Mr. Tyone are presumed not guilty until convicted by a court of law.

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