Florida couple used Facebook to sell moonshine, deputies say

Left to right: Richard Lott, Christie Comkowycz, Dalton Ridlon. Polk Co. Jail booking photos

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A Lakeland couple is accused of using a Facebook page to sell moonshine.

They are among three Polk County residents accused of selling the illegal booze to an undercover deputy in a store parking lot.

Detectives had received an anonymous tip that Alton Trowell, 31, of Lakeland was selling moonshine on his personal Facebook page.

The next day, an undercover PCSO detective contacted the cell phone number provided on the Facebook page, and spoke with a person later identified as Trowell’s live-in girlfriend, Christie Comkowycz, 31.

During the conversation, detectives say Comkowycz offered to sell 192 proof grain alcohol to the detective for $20 per pint, and negotiated the sale of 12 pints for $240.

She also asked the detective, “Are you a cop? Cause I don’t want to go to jail,” authorities said.

The two made arrangements to meet at a store parking lot. Detectives say Comkowycz arrived with roommate Dalton Ridlon, 20.

Detectives arrested Comkowycz and Ridlon after they sold them the moonshine, which was packaged in mason jars.

Evidence photo
Evidence photo

Comkowycz told detectives that her boyfriend, Trowell, had been arrested the night before by PCSO on unrelated drug charges.

Detectives say Comkowycz used his cell phone and Facebook page in an attempt to sell moonshine to raise enough money to pay for his bond. Ridlon told detectives he brought Comkowycz to the parking lot to protect her, in case she was getting robbed.

During a search of their residence, detectives say they seized a 5-gallon container of moonshine, which the suspects said they did not make.

Comkowycz told detectives they get the moonshine from someone named “Rick” who works at Mizkan distillery in Lake Alfred. Rick was later identified by investigators as Richard Lott, 48, of Lake Wales.

Detectives then texted Lott, posing as a customer wishing to purchase moonshine. Lott offered to sell the detectives two gallons of 192 proof grain alcohol for $20.00 per gallon.

Detectives responded to Lott’s place of business, and with the assistance of the Lake Alfred Police Department, took him into custody.

After his arrest, Lott told detectives he stole the five-gallon jug of grain alcohol from Mizkan distillery prior to it being processed and reduced, knowing that it was 192 proof alcohol and dangerous to consume, in order to sell it. He also told detectives he traded some of the alcohol to Christie in exchange for Meth.

The three suspects were placed under arrest and charged with the following:

Christie Comkowycz

  • Possession of one or more gallons illegal liquor (F-3)
  • Conspiracy to violate beverage law (F-3)
  • Unlawful possession/sale/transportation of alcohol (F-3)

Dalton Ridlon

  • Conspiracy to violate beverage law (F-3)
  • Unlawful possession/sale/transportation of alcohol (F-3)

Richard Lott

  • Use of two-way device to commit felony (F-3)
  • Conspiracy to violate beverage law (F-3)
  • Unlawful possession/sale/transportation of alcohol (F-3)

The PCSO said that all three suspects have prior arrest histories in the Polk County Jail.

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