Moonshine manufacturer arrested in Johnston County

February 9, 2012 1:09:17 PM PST
A Johnston County man was arrested Tuesday for illegally manufacturing hundreds of gallons of moonshine, according to North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement officials.

Special agents with the ALE seized a 1,000 gallon distillery from a barn at a home on Surles Road in Benson. They also destroyed 332 gallons of moonshine and 6,465 gallons of mash.

Officials charged 55-year-old Tony Rolon Benson with unlawfully manufacturing an alcoholic beverage, possession of nontaxpaid liquor, possession of alcoholic beverages for sale without an ABC permit and possession of equipment for use in unlawfully manufacturing alcoholic beverages.

"When liquor is unlawfully produced, it causes a host of problems," said Jeff Lasater, special agent in charge of the Raleigh ALE District Office. "These problems include the questionable safety in consumption, irresponsible sales as well as producing or impacting other criminal activity at the community level."

Benson is scheduled to make a court appearance March 15.

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