Byron Center Man Sentenced For Liquor Scam

Posted at 10:41 PM, Mar 15, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-15 23:55:39-04

BYRON CENTER, Mich. — Michael James Haynes, 50, could spend the next 30 years in prison.

The Byron Center man worked for National Wine and Spirits.

He was caught in the act smuggling high-end cognac and tequila from the distributor. He then turned around and sold the product for profit.

Haynes was sentenced March 13th in Kent County Circuit Court. He faces two to thirty years behind bars. He was convicted on a “criminal enterprise” charge.

The Kent County Sheriff’s Department set up surveillance in the store and caught Haynes and another man stealing thousands of dollars worth of alcohol.

The arrest came on December 8, 2012. That’s one day after being caught on video surveillance.

“They got some other people involved,” Jon Hess, Kent County Undersheriff said.

“Those are the other suspects in the case that assisted them in transporting the alcohol and moving it to other locations where they tried to sell some of it and were working with some businesses,” Hess explained.

The undersheriff believes they tried selling liquor in the Detroit area.

On top of the prison time, Haynes will also have to pay more than $400,000 dollars in restitution.

A co-conspirator, Jerry Lee Hawkins, will be sentenced in April.