Deputies find van full of moonshine

By: Tim Johnston Email
By: Tim Johnston Email

Deputies in Whitley County were told to keep an eye out for Bob Crawford, 54, of Tennessee, but what they didn't know they'd find in his burgundy van was more than 20 gallons of illegal alcohol.

"He {the deputy} looked in the window, and there it was, moonshine in plain view," said Sheriff Colan Harrell.

Sheriff Harrell says there were 72 quarts of moonshine, along with five gallons of homemade wine, in all. The Sheriff estimates each quart could sell for $30 to $40 a quart, adding the total up to more than a thousand dollars. However, Whitley County is dry, and that much alcohol is also enough to land you in jail.

"Whatever flavor you want, he had. Cherry, black cherry," chucked Sheriff Harrell about the amount and variety of moonshine found inside.

"I'm surprised that they found somebody with that much," remarked Whitley County resident, Boots Hamlin.

Sheriff Harrell says he hasn't seen this much liquid contraband in more than a decade, adding that this isn't something his deputies find on a regular basis.

"It's kind of going out of style, but not quick enough," said Sheriff Harrell.

"I never dreamed that somebody would be making that much, now," admitted Hamlin.

"Moonshine is not something that's common around here. Back in the old days, it used to be, but not now-a-days," added Melinda Caddell.

Crawford is behind bars for Illegal possession of an alcoholic beverage with the purpose of resale, or distribution. While he is off the streets, investigators still aren't sure where Crawford was able to get this much moonshine.

Sheriff Harrell says he will contact the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and Explosives to see if they want to adopt the case.

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