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2 charged in NJ with peddling bootleg beverage

August 23, 2012 2:30:55 PM PDT
Two men are accused of selling an alcoholic beverage to unlicensed retail stores throughout New Jersey.

Investigators with the state's Alcoholic Beverage Control have found Extracto de Malta in at least 15 supermarkets and bodegas mainly in Hispanic neighborhoods. Investigators say it was stocked on shelves among soft drinks and placed next to Malta, which is a carbonated, non-alcoholic beverage.

The ABC claims Condal Distributors of Bronx, N.Y., is putting Extracto de Malta on the streets.

The company's 63-year-old owner, Nelson Fernandez of Bloomfield, is charged with selling an alcoholic beverage without a license. So too is a salesman, 44-year-old Elbio Fanas of Yonkers, N.Y.

The state says Extracto de Malta has an alcohol by volume equivalent of a light beer.

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