Orangeburg officials find moonshine distillery while searching for suspect

Photo Credit: OCSD

ORANGEBURG (WACH, AP) -- Orangeburg officials searching for a murder suspect found a moonshine distillery instead late last week.

Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell says deputies found an illegal liquor distillery in a wooded area of Jaques Lane on Friday.

Ravenell said deputies seized over 30 barrels of mash, nine cookers, a water pump, five propane tanks and more than 45 gallons of illegal liquor from the property.

Authorities say the distillery was capable of manufacturing over $10,000 worth of illegal liquor at one time.

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Officers from the South Carolina Highway Patrol, the State Law Enforcement Division and the Department of Natural Resources helped find and destroy the distillery.

Meanwhile, a legal moonshine distillery will open in Greenville this summer. Other legal operations are also open in Charleston County. Those distilleries are legal because they are licensed to produce moonshine and pay taxes on the product.

The new distillery, Dark Corner Distillery, is expected to produce up to 30 gallons a day.

Moonshine is defined as un-aged whiskey.

What do you think about the differences between legal and illegal moonshine? Leave a comment below to join the discussion.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)