A collaborative enforcement effort between Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) and the Wythe County Sheriff’s Office culminated Sunday in the discovery and seizure of two small stills. Agents also seized 13 firearms, active mash, marijuana, untaxed liquor and other controlled substances from the Wythe County home.
Investigators from the Wythe County Sheriff’s Office learned of the illegal stills while responding to an assault complaint in the 6000 block of Cedar Springs Road in Rural Retreat. County Sheriff’s officers alerted ABC Enforcement officers and obtained a warrant to search the home.
Michael Pickle, 47, of Rural Retreat was arrested for felony sexual assault by the Sheriff’s Office. They have requested that ABC agents continue the investigation of the alcohol violations and, pending laboratory analysis, criminal charges are pending.
This is the second still investigation in the past month in which ABC agents have collaborated with the Wythe County Sheriff’s Office. On January 14, Wythe County Sheriff’s officers alerted ABC agents of a possible active still at a residence in the West Lee Highway area of Wytheville. Officers from both law enforcement agencies executed a search warrant for the house and discovered two illegal whiskey stills in a small storage building behind the residence. Agents also seized active mash, firearms and untaxed whiskey. No arrests have been made at this time, but indictments will be requested from the next grand jury.
The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) is a major source of revenue for the commonwealth, contributing $1.7 billion to the general fund in the last five years. The agency currently operates 344 state stores. Its Bureau of Law Enforcement oversees 16,000 ABC licensed establishments while the Hearings and Appeals Division considers more than 700 cases each year. The agency also provides alcohol education and prevention programs for people of all ages. Now in its 80th year, ABC remains committed to progress and innovation in carrying out its control, service and revenue mission.
Virginia ABC Agents Seize Two Active Stills in Wythe County