Deputies went undercover to catch people scalping Masters tickets. Scalping is illegal within 2700 feet of Augusta National. (April 6, 2011 / WRDW-TV)
News at 6 o'clock / Wednesday, April 6, 2011
AUGUSTA, Ga.--- While lots of fans are trying to see the greens of Augusta National first hand, others are trying to make some green.
The only problem is that they are doing it illegally and undercover deputies are busy this week cracking down and locking up.
Just outside of Gate 6, people are busy buying and selling tickets but the rules are they must be 2700 feet from the course.
Sometimes these brokers are stealthy and sometimes they are not. Some of them know the law, others know the game.
Reporter asks: "Do you guys know you have to be 2700 feet from the course?"
Scalper says, "I'm trying to buy."
Investigators say many of them go back at it. Among the sea of patrons just outside the gates are deputies. With money in hand, they are waiting to bust the next broker.
Richmond County Colonel Gary Powell says, "There have been like 68 tickets seized, 41 scalpers or individuals talked to, out of those we've made 12 arrested and 2 of them are juveniles."
Deputies say: and counting. Wednesday, deputies had so far arrested five scalpers who vary in ages and techniques.
Col. Powell says, "They're fairly easy to spot. You can tell when somebody is trying to stand there looking to get tickets, looking to approach people as they leave ask them for their tickets and then try to resell."
Fines for scalping within 2700 feet from Augusta National are up to 1000 dollars.
Every year, Augusta National buys more and more property which means for brokers, they are having to get farther and farther away from the course.
When it comes to online ticket re-sales, Richmond County deputies say Augusta National actually buys some of the tickets from eBay and prohibits those sellers from ever getting tickets again.
For Craigslist, some of the badges sold there may have been voided by the National so they scan as bad tickets and the people are turned away.