AP NEWS

Idaho couple charged over illegally selling $3K in whisky

February 28, 2020 GMT

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho (AP) — Police have arrested a couple suspected of selling more than $3,000 worth of Scotch whisky from a Coeur d’Alene storage unit to undercover Idaho Liquor Division agents.

Cynthia and John Bray, who have been married for 30 years and operate Calgary-based company Secret Spirits, each face felony charges of criminal conspiracy to sell liquor without a license and selling liquor without a license, the Coeur d’Alene Press reported.

The Brays told authorities they were trying to get rid of more than 100 boxes of Scotch from a storage unit where it was shipped because of trade disagreements through their whiskey distribution business that prevented shipment to Canada.

The couple instead shipped the boxes to Idaho and planned to sell it across the state, prosecutors said, adding that the couple does not have federal licenses or permits to sell alcohol in the United States.

Bringing liquor into Idaho without the proper authorization “is in violation of a number of state laws,” Liquor Division Chief Deputy Director Tony Faraca said.

Postal records show the Brays shipped 154 boxes of Scotch from a storage unit to buyers across the U.S., prosecutors said.

The Brays knew their acts were illegal because they told a private postal franchise operating their shipments that the boxes contained blown glass from Scotland, instead of whisky, Deputy Prosecutor Jed Whitaker said, adding he also plans to charge racketeering in the case.

The couple is in the Kootenai County jail on $100,000 bail. They face 10 years in prison and are scheduled to appear in court in March.