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Moonshine Lives On in Rural St. Mary's County, Maryland


February 1993

A January raid in rural St. Mary's County, Maryland resulted in two arrests and seizure of two stills and 68 gallons of illegal liquor (Fern Shen, "Tax Agents Confiscate Two Stills, Moonshine in Maryland," Washington Post, 1/6/93, D3; "Two Maryland Men Charged After Moonshine Raid," Washington Post, 1/7/93, B3).

John Morgan Sr., 77, and Leonard Morgan, 55, were charged with possessing homemade untaxed liquor and distilling equipment. If convicted, the men face a maximum of one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

Maryland Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division agents said the state is concerned both with revenue loss and health risks posed by moonshine. "It's a health thing," said agent Thomas Gue. "Moonshine operators use lead pipes.

About a half-dozen illicit stills are seized in Maryland every year. In Virginia, more than 70 illegal stills were found last year. That state has a permanent Moonshine Task Force.