Man charged with selling bootleg alcohol to Anchorage homeless residents

a brown building
The Sullivan Arena in Anchorage closed as a winter shelter to most of its homeless residents on May 1, 2023. (Wesley Early/Alaska Public Media)

A man has been arrested for illegally selling alcohol to homeless residents in Anchorage.

The state Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office announced the arrest in a statement on Thursday. It says control office investigators, in collaboration with the Anchorage Police Department, issued an arrest warrant to 59-year-old Brandon Reed on May 12. An arrest warrant is also outstanding for Reed’s alleged accomplice 43-year-old Andrew Tyone.

Investigators say that between January of last year and this May, Reed and Tyone bought more than 3,500 bottles of vodka from Costco, along with a stock of water bottles. Reed allegedly dumped out the water, filled the bottles with vodka and sold them at the Sullivan Arena shelter and other places frequented by people who are homeless.

Officials with the control office estimate that the two men made more than $140,000 from illegal alcohol sales. While investigators tracked sales from Reed and Tyone beginning last January, they say they suspect the two began selling alcohol before then. 

In a statement, the control office’s director, Joan Wilson, said the two men preyed on a vulnerable population.

“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,” Wilson said. “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 two counts of selling alcohol without a permit, as well as a count of reckless endangerment and a count of driving with a revoked license. He was released from jail on a $250 bail. He does not have an attorney listed in public court records.

Wesley Early covers Anchorage life and city politics for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at and follow him on X at @wesley_early. Read more about Wesley here.

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