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Some TV shows will bill episodes as pulled straight from the headlines. But one Kentucky man reversed that popular trope when he tried to haul over 10,000 bottles and cans through three states just to get the recycling deposit. Eagle-eyed Seinfeld fans might remember that little gambit -- Kramer and Newman tried the same scam in the show's seventh season.
And if those guys can't pull it off, what hope do the rest of us have?
What's the Deal With Bottle Deposits?
Kentucky offers nothing for returned bottles and cans. Michigan, on the other hand, will give you ten cents per bottle. So Brian Edward Everidge got himself thousands of bottles and aluminum cans, a Budget moving truck, and hit the road north to find his fortune. Turns out he hit the road too fast.
Everidge was pulled over for speeding in Michigan, where cops say he admitted that he was on his way to return the bottles for deposit. Section 445.574a of Michigan's Beverage Containers statute prohibits persons from "return[ing] or attempt[ing] to return to a dealer for a refund ... A beverage container that the person knows or should know was not purchased in this state as a filled returnable container."
A Crime About Nothing
Everidge never made it to a beverage container dealer with his haul, so did he actually commit a crime? "They caught him too early," defense attorney Marcus Wilcox told the court. "He attempted to attempt to return the bottles. ... This statute doesn't fit." While he is right that there is no law proscribing an attempt to attempt to return out-of-state bottles, the case will likely turn on the court's definition of the single attempt that is included in the statute.
So the Seinfeld bandit will go to trial, where he'll find out who is the master of his domain (legally speaking, of course.)