COLUMBUS – In December, agents with the Ohio Investigative Unit (OIU) teamed up with Ohio Liquor Control (OHLQ), charging five people throughout Ohio after an investigation into secondary market liquor sales.
Secondary market liquor sales often take place on websites, such as Craigslist and Facebook groups and Marketplace. An example of secondary sales is when sellers go to other states, purchase bottles of liquor not found or difficult to find in Ohio and turn around to resell them. In Ohio, consumers may only purchase spirituous liquor from authorized sources such as an OHLQ location, which are private businesses that sell the product on behalf of the state of Ohio or permitted retail establishments, such as bars and restaurants.
“When people purchase bottles on the secondary market, there is no guarantee of the health and safety of the bottle’s contents,” said Captain Gary Allen, commander of OIU. “Ohio has controls in place to ensure the contents inside liquor bottles are genuine and safe when purchased from authorized sources.”
Agents charged Robert C. Jaskolka,73, of Brunswick; Dennis M. Rigney-Carroll, 44, of Upper Arlington; Brian L. McSwain, 42, of Mason and Joshua D. Ulam, 35, of Walton, Ky., with illegal sale of beer or intoxicating liquor without a permit, a first-degree misdemeanor. Agents also charged Gerald R. Osborne, 52, of South Point with illegal sale of intoxicating liquor, a first-degree misdemeanor, illegal possession of intoxicating liquor, a first-degree misdemeanor, and illegal transportation of intoxicating liquor, a fourth-degree misdemeanor. The cases are not connected.
“Secondary sales are a no-win situation. They hurt the small businesses that sell these products legally and put consumers at risk,” OHLQ Superintendent Jim Canepa said. “Consumers are susceptible to both counterfeit or tampered with products. We’re grateful the Ohio Investigative Unit takes these cases seriously to keep our market fair and consumers safe.”
The cases will be forwarded to local municipal courts. If convicted, each person could receive the maximum 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Osborne may also face another maximum 210 days in jail and $1,250 fine.
OIU and OHLQ will continue to investigate secondary market liquor sales. If you know of anyone selling alcohol illegally, contact OIU at #677.
Robert C. Jaskolka’s case has been presented to Medina Municipal Court.
Brian L. McSwain’s case has been presented to the Mason Municipal Court.
Gerald R. Osborne’s case has been presented to the Lawrence County Municipal Court.
Dennis M. Rigney-Carroll’s case has been presented to the Franklin County Municipal Court.
Joshua D. Ulam’s case has been presented Warren Municipal Court.