An Illegal Winery in an Alabama Sewage Plant Was Just Shut Down
You've heard of bathtub gin. What about wastewater wine?
A city worker was running a winery out of a wastewater treatment plant in Rainsville, AL, according to local authorities.
As reported by the The New York Times and AL.com, an anonymous tip led agents and investigators to the illegal booze operation at the Rainsville Wastewater Treatment Plant, located about 100 miles north of Birmingham. A longtime supervisor named Allen Maurice Stiefel, 62, was charged with both a misdemeanor and a felony; he was suspended with pay.
“While conducting the search, agents and investigators located a large amount of illegal alcohol, and a winery which appeared to be in operation for a long period of time,” the DeKalb Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
DeKalb is a dry county, though it has somewhat recently allowed for home brewing (but not for sale … and not in a sewage plant).
“I want to thank the mayor for his cooperation and willingness to allow law enforcement to do our job and shut something like this down,” said DeKalb County Sheriff Nick Welden. “This is definitely one of the biggest operations we’ve seen in our county and possibly our state.” (He also added, “God bless!” which seems unnecessary.)
The photos of the operation show a modest room-sized DIY operation for making hooch. It looks like the equipment was located in an unused office or storage area, if you’re wondering about hygiene.
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