A nine month long investigation by special agents of the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Bureau of Law Enforcement culminated yesterday in the discovery and destruction of two 800-gallon operational black-pot stills. Agents also seized 1,600 gallons of mash, 182 gallons of untaxed liquor and various quantities of liquor-making supplies at the site in eastern Franklin County.
With consent from Matherly, ABC agents conducted a search at his home and discovered a small amount of marijuana and a firearm. Other charges are forthcoming.
Acting on a citizen’s tip, ABC agents began their investigation in July 2012 and conducted months of undercover surveillance in the heavily wooded area where the illegal still operation was located.
After being charged at the Franklin County Courthouse in Rocky Mount, Matherly was released on a $10,000 unsecured bond.
The Class 6 felony charge is punishable with one to five years in jail or a maximum $2,500 fine and not more than one year in jail, either or both. Class 1 misdemeanors are punishable with up to 12 months in jail, and a fine of up to $2,500, either or both.
Virginia ABC Agents Seize Two 800-Gallon Stills in Franklin County