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 January 31, 2024

Police Successfully Detain Man Accused Of Running Illegal Moonshine Operation

An illicit venture into the world of bootleg alcohol ends in the arrest of a Tennessee local.

A Tennessee man, Jeremy Stines, was apprehended after deputies uncovered his illegal moonshine operation in Johnson City following a tip-off.

The saga began when law enforcement received a tip about a suspicious operation. This led them to the 200 block of Highridge Road, where they discovered a hidden moonshine operation run by 36-year-old Jeremy Stines. With a search warrant, deputies entered a yard barn upon Stines' verbal consent, unveiling a clandestine distillery equipped with liquor manufacturing apparatus and a stockpile of 81 quarts of moonshine.

A surprising discovery in Johnson City

The confiscated items were a telling sign of the operation's scale. Tennessee law strictly prohibits the unlicensed manufacture of intoxicating liquor, making Stines' activities not only illegal but also a significant violation of state regulations. Stines faces charges for the manufacture of alcoholic beverages, possession of still, and unlawful storage of liquor for sale, all misdemeanors of varying degrees.

Set to appear in March, Stines' case highlights the ongoing issue of illegal liquor production in regions with a history of moonshine. While some may view moonshining as a harmless nod to tradition, the law sees it differently, emphasizing public safety and regulation compliance.

Legal implications and community response

Stines' operation, featuring 81 quarts of moonshine and sophisticated distilling equipment, underscores the complexities of such illegal ventures. Not only does this pose significant legal risks for the individuals involved, but it also highlights the potential dangers associated with consuming unregulated alcohol.

Following the raid, the local community expressed mixed reactions. While some were shocked to learn about the operation's existence in their vicinity, others were reminded of the region's historical ties to moonshine, a legacy that persists despite the risks and legal implications.

According to the sheriff's office, Stines informed deputies that there was a still in the yard barn located at the east end of the property and verbally agreed to let them search the structure. Upon inspection, deputies found equipment for making liquor and 81 quarts of the product, all of which were seized by the officials.

The intricacies of moonshine law

Tennessee law prohibits the possession or control of any still or equipment used for producing intoxicating liquor without a proper license. This incident highlights the critical importance of understanding and complying with the legal limits and regulations regarding alcohol production in the state.

The charges against Stines, including Class A misdemeanors for unlawful manufacturing and storage of liquor for sale and a Class B misdemeanor for possession of a still, exemplify the legal system's effort to curb such practices. These laws are in place not only to regulate alcohol production but also to ensure public safety from potentially hazardous homemade spirits.

Investigators discovered 81 quarts of moonshine and a still in a yard barn on the property, highlighting the operation's scale and law enforcement's challenge in detecting and dismantling such setups.

Community safety and the hazards of illegal alcohol

The confiscation of the moonshine and the still by the sheriff's office marks a successful effort to address the illegal alcohol production within the community. Such operations can lead to serious health risks for consumers, given the lack of regulatory oversight in the production process.

This incident serves as a cautionary tale for those considering engaging in or supporting illegal liquor production. The risks, both legal and health-related, far outweigh the potential benefits of such endeavors.

As Stines awaits his court appearance in March, his case serves as a significant reminder of the consequences that come with violating alcohol production laws. It underscores the ongoing battle between tradition and law enforcement in regions historically associated with moonshine production.

Lessons to learn from this tragedy

This story is not just about the illegal production of moonshine; it's a broader lesson on the importance of abiding by the law and the potential consequences of not doing so. Here are some key takeaways:

  1. Understanding and respecting state laws is crucial, especially those regarding alcohol production.
  2. While traditions are important, they must be balanced with legal and safety considerations.
  3. Illegal operations pose risks to those involved and can harm consumers and the community.
  4. It's essential to be aware of the legal implications of our actions and make informed decisions accordingly.

Remember, while we can take steps to prevent becoming involved in illegal activities, crime can impact anyone. It's vital not to place blame on victims but to learn from their experiences.

Why this story matters

The arrest of Jeremy Stines over his illegal moonshine operation is more than just a news item; it reflects the ongoing challenges in balancing tradition with law and order. It underscores the importance of community awareness and the role of law enforcement in maintaining public safety. This story matters because it highlights the need for vigilance against illegal activities that can harm individuals and the broader community. It serves as a reminder of the legal responsibilities we all share and the consequences of neglecting them.


  • A Tennessee man was caught running an illegal moonshine operation in Johnson City.
  • Jeremy Stines faces multiple violations for the manufacture and storage of bootleg alcohol.
  • The operation was uncovered following a tip, leading to the confiscation of 81 quarts of moonshine and distilling equipment.
  • Stines is expected to appear in court in March to face charges related to his illegal alcohol production activities.

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Written By: Rampart Stonebridge

I'm Rampart Stonebridge, a curious and passionate writer who can't get enough of true crime. As a criminal investigative journalist, I put on my detective hat, delving deep into each case to reveal the hidden truths. My mission? To share engaging stories and shed light on the complexities of our mysterious world, all while satisfying your curiosity about the intriguing realm of true crime.
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