The investigative reporters over at NBC New York think they're pretty crafty this morning, having purchased a 12-pack of vintage Four Loko off an unsuspecting Craigslist seller for $80. Little does NBC know, no real person would actually pay that much this early in Prohibition II — some reporters in faux slacker beanies just got ripped off, hard. (For more newscasting NBC nerds who take the funk out of drunk, see “Hollywood Party Buses Gone Wild: The Ana Garcia Crackdown.”)

Can somebody please tell NBC that the Loko black market is old news by now? (In L.A., we've moved on to trading our Lokos, for priceless items such as Little Dragon concert tix.) Still, we wouldn't really want to be the guy on the other end of the news network's yellow fear piece, either:

They've got top brass on their side. Once Mahwah, New Jersey, Police Chief James Batelli catches you in the act, it's all cuffs and Miranda rights and sobering prison showers from there. Anyway, it's good to hear at least one law officer has taken on the good fight of New York State Senator Chuck Schumer, making sure no curious child can know the pleasures of sipping from the meth-spiked hummingbird feeder of youth ever again.

The bone-chilling results of the undercover investigation — BA-BAM:

After responding to posting from an Upper East Side Four Loko dealer, WNBC was able to purchase a case of twelve cans for $80, a mark-up of more than 300 percent. Since November, dozens of sellers have posted craigslist ads charging anywhere from $4 to $8 per can. When the drink was legal, buyers paid only $2 to $3 per can.

Things really get good when Police Chief Batelli gets so worked up as to embark on a series of run-ons. We'll repeat them all, 'cause they're that awesome:

“We have several ongoing investigations right now with people who are selling Four Loko on the web and our goal obviously is to affect an arrest of those.”

“The risk factors are the same but now you're pushing it behind closed doors because they realize it's a banned substance so it's something we're concerned about.”

“It's a very expensive black market item that people are price gouging and making a lot of money on and they're making a lot of money on people's health.”

Wait. Making… money… on people's health? What? Oh well — sounds dire.

The NBC sting operation ends on the item with which it surely should have begun:

In a related development, parents of a Pompton Lakes teen buried him in Hollywood, Florida Monday after a Four Loko drinking binge left him unconscious. Relatives of Filipe Cavalcante, 18, say they had to take the teenage guitar enthusiast off life support on January 3rd. Cavalcante apparently drank three to four cans of the alcoholic energy drink in a night club parking lot and blacked out last week.

We can't find any more information on this boy, but… that's absolutely awful. You'd think the skyrocketing asking price would inspire Loko enthusiasts to take smaller sips — half a can has always been more than enough, and maybe just one-seventh if you're over 50.

Just goes to show how little good an outright ban will do. From what we hear, cars are guzzling that shit down like it was ethanol.

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