CARROLL COUNTY, Miss. (WLBT) - A repeat offender from Carroll County has once again been busted for making moonshine.
68-year-old Jimmie Alexander of Vaiden was arrested at his still Thursday morning by Mississippi Alcohol Beverage Control agents with assistance from the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office.
The ABC believes the guy that was making moonshine in the still they busted had been doing so for decades. In fact, the Chief of ABC Enforcement ran across this same guy for doing the same thing, back in the late 80s.
“I had dealings with this guy and some more people making whiskey in 1986," said Rusty Hanna, Chief of ABC Enforcement. "In the same area, approximately half a mile down the road from here.”
When Hanna says “dealings," he’s referring to Jimmie Alexander and two others offering him bribes in exchange for protection -- and facing additional charges back then. So, how has he flown under the radar all these years?
“He does not sell locally, which is part of the reason why he’s not been caught in over 30 years," noted ABC Enforcement Agent Daniel Faught. "I think he transports the majority of his product outside of Carroll County just to avoid detection.”
Their three-month investigation indicates he was selling the shine for about $30 a gallon. He had an eight barrel setup with the fermented rye mash ready for the cooker.
“He’s got propane burners underneath which he will cook," showed Faught. "The alcohol vapor will evaporate off, come up through the copper tube and then work its way over into this is called the worm. It’s a coil of copper tube in the cold water. That condenses the alcohol vapor back down to a liquid and then that comes out to a finished product.”
Aside from being illegal, there are serious health concerns tied to moonshine making.
“If somebody does not know what they’re doing, that first little bit that comes off, methanol, is poisonous," said Hanna. "It can kill you.”
Agents also executed a search warrant on Alexander’s house where they found 70 gallon plastic jugs, 13.5 gallons of moonshine, copper coil, 100 lbs of rye grain and a ten gallon cask.
Jimmie Alexander is being charged with possession of a still and possession of whiskey. Possession of a still is a felony charge.