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N.C. still raid nets 36 gallons of illegal whiskey

MARSHALL (AP) ó Authorities have seized more than 400 gallons of mash and 36 gallons of illegal moonshine in a raid on a still in the North Carolina mountains, and are now trying to determine if the operation is related to a Tennessee moonshining arrest.
Officials said the raid in Madison County was the first in recent memory despite the areaís history of moonshining.
Agents seized eight 55 gallon barrels of corn mash used to make the illegal whiskey and 36 gallons of distilled liquor, the Asheville Citizen-Times reported Thursday. Authorities also found 20 marijuana plants and 60 guns.
Madison County Sheriff John Ledford said the still was located Tuesday about 100 yards up a steep, wooded mountainside and the stillís burner was warm when they arrived.
James Dale Cutshall, 65, and neighbor Vernon Tipton, 78, were charged with possession and manufacture of nontax-paid alcoholic beverages, Ledford said. Tipton lived in the house nearest the still and the road to it ran through his yard.
Cutshall and Sharon Seay, 35, each were charged with felony manufacture of marijuana; possession of marijuana; possession of paraphernalia; and maintaining a dwelling for the distribution of marijuana. Cutshall also was charged with possession of a sawed-off shotgun.
The still was near the end of a road that dead ends within a half mile of the North Carolina-Tennessee border.
Ledford said his investigators are talking to Tennessee officials about a possible connection with a moonshine case.
Sheriff Kent Harris of Unicoi County, Tenn., said officers arrested a man over the weekend on Interstate 26 after finding 312 quarts of moonshine in his truck.
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Information from: The Asheville Citizen-Times, http://www.citizen-times.com

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