ABC raid busts shot house, nets moonshine

Published 12:01 pm Saturday, February 11, 2012

One man was arrested Friday morning after authorities found him in possession of moonshine.

The Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, along with the Troy Police Department, served a search warrant on a home believed to be an illegal shot house.

John Williams Baker, 58, was arrested for possession of alcohol for sale without a license and possession of untaxed alcohol.

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Lt. Thomas Price with the ABC said the “untaxed alcohol” was moonshine. Officers also confiscated whiskey.

“We are trying to combat illegal alcohol sales in the county,” Price said. “We have been trying to shut down all shot houses in the area.”

Price said the problem isn’t a new one. He’s been with the ABC for 18 years and said he was sent in undercover to investigate shot houses in the mid to late 1990s.

“We are fighting it as hard as we can,” Price said.

And that battle is being fought alongside the Troy Police Department and Pike County Sheriff’s Office.

On Jan. 12, Charles Williams, of 151 W. Pike St., was arrested by the Sheriff’s Office and charged with possession of alcohol for sale without a license. It wasn’t the first time Williams had been arrested for heading up a shot house.

Officers confiscated 147 12-ounce beers and five bottles of liquor and arrested three others at that location.

Just Thursday night, the Troy Police and ABC agents arrested a man at a home about 300 yards away from the bust Friday morning, Price said.

At about 6 p.m. on Feb. 9, both agencies served a search warrant at a home on the 200 block of Oakland Heights Drive and arrested Jimmie Lee Smith, 70.

Smith was arrested for second-degree possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of alcohol for sale without a license and possession of untaxed alcohol.

The untaxed alcohol in this case was also moonshine.

“It’s illegal. They don’t have a license,” Price said. “We are going to see that they go to jail.”

Smith’s bond was set at $500 for each county and he was released on bond from the Troy City Jail Thursday night.

Baker is still being held in the Troy City Jail. He has a bond total of $1,000 on local charges, but a hold has been placed on him and he will be extradited to Florida. Baker is wanted by the Bay County Sheriff’s Office in Panama City, Fla. for a September 1992 sexual battery.