Moonshine operation halted


Agents of the State Comptroller's Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Enforcement Unit and Prince George's County police last week put a cork in a moonshine operation at an unoccupied house in a secluded part of Accokeek.

The agents destroyed 300 gallons of corn mash and confiscated a 60-gallon copper still and 3 gallons of moonshine.

A citizen tipped police.

The Prince George's state's at torney will decide if charges should be filed, said Marvin A. Bond, assistant state comptroller. The maximum penalty for making untaxed liquor is five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.

The still was capable of producing 12 1/2 gallons of moonshine a day and the whiskey was being sold for $15 a gallon, Bond said.

Each year, two or three illegal stills are confiscated, Bond said.

"Stills can be in the woods, a pig pen, in a barn or in a house," Bond said. Because of some unsanitary distilling conditions, the illegal whiskey can be dangerous.

"This is a technology that is somewhat dying out because the guys who know how to do it are getting older and dying," Bond added.

Moonshining suffered in the 1960s when the cost of ingredients, including sugar and mason jars, increased, he said.

Moonshine customers are usually those who have "cultivated a taste for it," Bond said.

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