Man accused of refilling empty beer bottles and returning them sentenced to 150 days in custody, 30 in jail
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — A San Diego man who bought bottled beer at retail outlets, then refilled the empty bottles with cleaning solution and dyes before returning them to the store, was sentenced Friday to 150 days in custody, including 30 days in county jail.
Eduardo DeJesus Cossio III, 32, pleaded guilty in August to three counts of adulteration of food or drink.
In court today, defense attorney Dan Greene told Judge Daniel Link that Cossio didn’t intend to harm anyone with the "ridiculous” crime. Cossio was going through a difficult phase in his life and was "essentially trying to get free beer,” Greene said.
"He didn’t think it would be re-sold,” the lawyer told the judge.
Deputy District Attorney Elizabeth McClutchey said Cossio’s actions affected not only consumers, but beer companies and the stores which sold the alcohol.
Cossio would drink the beer, then go to great lengths to refill the bottles with soapy solutions and food coloring to make it look real, attorneys said.
Thirteen incidents were reported over a year and a half, McClutchey said.
Link sentenced Cossio to three years probation, including 30 days in jail and 120 days in a work furlough program.
Cossio was also ordered to pay more than $59,000 in restitution to a beer company and $1,307 to Target.