Sheriff's Office busts up moonshine and marijuana operation

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 18, 2011

By Shelley Smith
SALISBURY — When investigators with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office searched the home of a Salisbury man, they expected to find moonshine.
They weren’t expecting to discover a room filled with an advanced indoor hydroponic marijuana grow operation.
Detectives went to the home of Perry Lee Propst, 1221 Hat Creek Road on April 14 to serve a search warrant after receiving reports from the Kannapolis Police Department that Propst was selling moonshine.
During the search, detectives found four quarts of non-tax-paid white liquor, a functional stainless steel liquor still, 10 gallons of “mash,” and pounds of sugar, yeast and mason jars. Wood chips were also found, and used to “age” the moonshine, giving it an amber color.
The “sophisticated” marijuana operation, authorities said, was home to numerous grow lights with two timers, a charcoal filtered watering system and 14 marijuana plants growing with three already harvested.
Authorities also seized two handguns and two SKS rifles.
Propst, 34, was charged with felony possession with intent to sell or deliver marijuana, felony manufacturing marijuana, felony maintaining a dwelling, misdemeanor manufacturing non-tax-paid white liquor, misdemeanor possession of non-tax-paid liquor and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.
Propst received a $1,500 bond.
Detective Chad Moose said this is the third moonshine still he’s seen since he’s been a detective with the sheriff’s office.
The last was in September, and involved a similar indoor operation. He first saw a still in November of 2009, and was also indoors.