Authorities shut down moonshine operation: ‘We’ve cost them a lot of money’
BULLOCK COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA/Gray News) - A moonshine still in Alabama is out of business after authorities uncovered and shut down the illegal operation Wednesday.
“We’ve cost them a lot of money here today,” Pike County Sheriff Russell Thomas said.
WSFA reports that 30 barrels of mash and a vat full of distilled moonshine were found and destroyed by the Pike County and Bullock County sheriff’s offices.
“If you don’t destroy it, they’ll reuse it,” Thomas said.
Authorities said the still was found about two miles down a dirt road. The still was found in Bullock County, but the road that led to it was in Pike County, which is why both offices are involved.
Deputies reported they destroyed about $5,000 of material used to run the operation. The still was estimated to generate about 600 gallons of moonshine per batch, bringing in about $5,000 worth of moonshine a week.
Officials said the property owner likely had no idea the still was on their land while investigators continued to work on finding those running the operation.
Bullock County Sheriff Raymond Rodgers said if moonshine is made with the wrong equipment, it could be deadly.
“People actually drink this stuff, and they can get lead poisoning. I have people who have died from lead poison because of drinking moonshine,” Rodgers said. “It’s not a healthy drink, because it’s not manufactured the right way.”
Investigators said they were unsure how long the operation had been in business but believed it had been there a while based on the decay of nearby trees from the runoff.
Thomas said the still was used within hours of the bust because it was warm to the touch.
Authorities said operating a moonshine still is a felony and punishable by up to five years in prison.
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