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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Fax: 540-483-8013

Moonshine still raided
The old-fashioned operation was set up to produce apple brandy and corn whiskey
Click to Enlarge
A 250-gallon submarine (black pot) moonshine still is shown in the foreground with covered barrels and various other parts of the operation shown in the background.

Friday, July 1, 2011


A small, old-fashioned moonshine still operation, ready to produce corn whiskey and apple brandy, was recently destroyed at Fork Mountain.

As a result of the raid by two special agents with the state's Department of Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC), an indictment(s) will be sought against an 83-year-old Rocky Mount man.

Agents are scheduled to appear before a Franklin County grand jury on Wednesday, July 6.

Special Agents Mark Scott and Bev Whitmer conducted the raid about 10:15 a.m. on Monday, June 13.

The suspect was allegedly in the process of illegally manufacturing untaxed liquor, a Class 6 felony, according to Kathleen Shaw with ABC Public Afffairs Office in Richmond.

The agents reported they discovered an active 250-gallon submarine or "black pot" moonshine still filled with corn mash, ready to run.

In addition, agents found four operable but inactive 250-gallon stills of the same design at the site.

Numerous 55-gallon plastic barrels were also found, containing about 600 gallons of apple mash in various stages of fermentation, according to Chris Goodwin, special agent in charge at the Roanoke ABC office.

A copper "cap" and condensing coil or "worm" were being used in the production, the agents reported.

Agents took samples of the mash for investigative purposes. Later, explosives were used to blow up the still at the conclusion of the investigation, according to reports filed.

It has been years since such an operation of this type and size has been discovered in the county or state, ABC officials said.

In recent years, moonshine stills raided in Franklin County have been 800-gallon size submarine or "black pot" types, which were also used to ferment the mash.

The production of large amounts of moonshine in Franklin County during recent years has been limited to sugar, not grain or fruit, the agents said. Fruit mash used to produce brandy has not been found in the county for many years.

This is the first large moonshine operation destroyed in Franklin County in more than a decade.

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