Richmond VA March 31 2012 The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, with help from the Virginia State Police, recently busted illegal moonshine stills in three counties, including Pittsylvania County.
The Virginia ABC and Virginia State Police Air Division conducted an air and ground operation this month that resulted in discovery and destruction of 25 illegal stills and liquor-making supplies in Pittsylvania, Franklin and Carroll counties, said Carol Mawyer, public relations specialist with the Virginia ABC, in a news release Friday.
The stills were inactive but operational, Mawyer said in the release.
The air and ground operation took place March 15, 16, 26 and 27. The team flew over 51 pre-determined sites searching for stills and illegal distilling apparatus. Agents seized and destroyed more than three dozen 800- and 400-gallon black pot stills and other paraphernalia used for the manufacture and distribution of illegal whiskey, Mawyer said in the release.
There were 13 suspected still sites in Pittsylvania County, ABC Special Agent in Charge J. Chris Goodman told the Danville Register & Bee. Goodman could not say how many of those sites were discovered and destroyed in Pittsylvania County because investigators are processing information from the operation.
Agents also found 15 inoperable stills destroyed in previous busts, Mawyer said in the release.
The joint operation was the culmination of a two-year investigation on the manufacturing of illegal whiskey in the three counties, Mawyer said in the release. ABC agents gathered information before making a list of suspected sites, Goodman said.
Arrests are possible, pending discussions with prosecutors, , Goodman said.
Site locations cannot be disclosed because spin-off investigations are anticipated from the busts. Also, most of the sites were just GPS coordinates with investigators paying no attention to names of the communities, Goodman said.
The sites were destroyed because it was not feasible to remove them, Goodman said