AUSTIN, Texas — Three men have been arrested for allegedly selling and reusing Austin City Limits Music Festival wristbands during Weekend 1 several times.
According to an affidavit obtained by KVUE, police conducted a sting operation after finding their ad on Craigslist. The men face charges of theft of service and engaging in organized criminal activity.
Austin police said they received additional information indicating the men were selling the wristbands to people, escorting them into the festival, removing the wristbands and performing the same action over again. The men also held the buyers' property as collateral.
The suspects involved were identified by police as Nathan Beck, 30, Cameron Beck, 24, and Michael Martin, 33.
During the sting operation, an undercover detective was instructed by Martin to meet them at an apartment complex where the detective was told he would be charged $150 for a wristband and would need to hand over a cellphone or ID as collateral until they entered the festival, the affidavit stated. Once at the festival, Nathan allegedly collected the officer's money and phone before handing them to Cameron, who took the officer and other customers into ACL. Martin then returned with several wristbands, police said.
The officer reportedly “observed Nathan and Cameron using small, green plastic straws to defeat the clip on the wristband, so they could be loosened and reapplied to other persons.”
When the undercover cop made it into the festival and exchanged his wristband for his phone, police arrested Martin, Nathan and Cameron.
ACL organizers assisted in the investigation and reportedly determined that five wristbands were used in the sting operation between 19 and 22 times for a total of 104 scans. That's worth nearly $11,000 in admission fees, according to Austin police.
The three men do not appear to be in custody as of Monday afternoon, according to online records.
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