A joint investigation between North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement Agents and the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Division culminated with a raid in the 1700 block of Creek Bridge Road, near Meadowbrook Road, outside of Benson.
Agents served an ALE search warrant at the home of 60 year-old Billy Ray Jackson and reportedly found a large moonshine still, 4402 gallons of mash and 143 gallons of moonshine. The moonshine had an estimated street value of $20 per gallon or a total of $2,860.
Clay Joyner, Assistant Special Agent in Charge with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety Alcohol Law Enforcement Branch, said the search warrant was conducted following a criminal investigation into the manufacturing of non-tax paid alcohol. The still was located in a barn behind the residence.
Joyner said moonshine produced in the region is sold both locally and shipped out of state, adding it’s always been that way.
Jackson was reportedly in the process of making moonshine when the bust occurred Wednesday morning. The items not seized as evidence for Jackson’s pending court case were destroyed by the agents.
He was charged with possession of equipment to manufacture alcohol, manufacturing liquor without a permit, possess-sell non-tax paid alcohol, possess-sell alcoholic beverage without a permit, felony possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana paraphernalia and misdemeanor conspiracy. Bail was set at $25,000.
More arrests have not been ruled out.