NJ Says 'Operation Swill' Turned Up River Water, Rubbing Alcohol

NJ Says 'Operation Swill' Turned Up River Water, Rubbing Alcohol

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GLASSBORO, N.J. -

Investigators allege that bars and restaurants in New Jersey disguised cheap booze, or worse, as the expensive stuff and made you pay the higher price.

As part of a year-long probe dubbed "Operation Swill," 29 bars and restaurants were cited.

Among the establishments were Villari's Lakeside in Sicklerville, Italian Affair in Glassboro, and 13 T.G.I. Fridays across the state.

Investigators said at a news conference Thursday that, in many cases, the bars were pouring bottom shelf liquor into top shelf bottles, or they were watering down drinks.

But, they say, some cases were much worse.

"One was described to me as essentially river water, They didn't even think it was actual tap water. Another one, we believe, was rubbing alcohol and caramel color to make it look like it was a whiskey," New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa said.

The state's Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control seized liquor bottles from the establishments, and samples of the suspected bad booze were sent for further testing.

If the bars were, in fact, cheating their customers, they could lose their liquor licenses.

We received a statement from T.G.I. Friday's telling us the company is investigating the allegations against its restaurants.

On Thursday morning, FOX 29's Dawn Timmeney was live in Glassboro outside one of the restaurants named in the investigation when she filed this video report.

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