Jason Kay, 38, of Longmont was arrested Wednesday afternoon. A criminal complaint filed in federal court accuses Kay of violating three federal codes that prohibit product tampering.
On Saturday night, 9NEWS reported bootleg bottles of Gatorade showing up in Denver stores. Black-and-white labels featured a photo of Tiger Woods and his wife, Elin, and the word "unfaithful" on the reverse.
The original 9NEWS story drew international coverage.
Gatorade sent product reps into local stores to remove the mislabeled products and federal agents began an investigation.
9Wants To Know investigators tracked an e-mail hidden in the label's small print to Kay.
The criminal complaint filed by federal prosecutors indicates agents did the same.
Kay admitted to 9NEWS that he helped a friend pull off what he called a "pop art" project.
The criminal complaint indicates Kay admitted he acted alone.
Kay had told 9NEWS the object of the project was to create conversation.
In addition to bottles found by shoppers and 9NEWS employees in Denver, the criminal complaint says mislabeled bottles were found in Erie, Boulder, Broomfield and Longmont.
Kay allegedly e-mailed PepsiCo, the maker of Gatorade, asking if the company wanted to pay an "artist" to travel from city to city going into stores dressed as a Gatorade employee to switch the bottles. The e-mailer said it would be good advertising for Gatorade.
Contradicting his claim of 1,000 mislabeled bottles, Kay allegedly told federal agents he only placed approximately 67 bottles on store shelves.
The criminal complaint says Kay told federal investigators he "didn't think his actions would attract so much attention."
Kay told agents he altered the labels using supplies at a Kinko's store and did not alter the contents of the bottles.
A spokesman for federal prosecutors said Kay would appear in court Thursday.
Court filings indicate Kay is unemployed.
If you have information about this story, please contact 9Wants To Know Investigator Kyle Clark.
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