Man with leaking luggage charged with smuggling alcohol

BETHEL, Alaska (AP) — Call it, “The Case of the Leaky Luggage.”

A 59-year-old man attempting to fly from Bethel, Alaska, to the dry village of Chevak (CHEE’-vak) was arrested Monday after witnesses spotted booze dripping from his suitcase.

Alaska State Troopers arrested Michael Smolnik at an airline terminal. He is charged with a felony and misdemeanor counts of selling and importing alcohol in a dry community.

Troopers seized 8.47 liters of alcohol with an estimated street value of $2,200 and say it could have been more. They concluded that almost four liters leaked out.

Chevak is a “local option” village that voted to ban sales and importation of alcohol.

Smolnik remained jailed Tuesday night in Bethel. Online court records did not indicate that he was represented by an attorney who could comment.

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