A Kiln man last week pled guilty in a 2018 moonshine bust.
Willie Necaise, Jr., 77, was arrested in October 2018 after agents of the Mississippi Alcoholic Beverage Control executed a search warrant at his residence on Rocky Hill Dedeaux Rd.
He pled guilty Friday before U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden to Unlawful Production of Distilled Spirits and Interstate Travel in Aid of a Racketeering Enterprise, U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and Kurt Theilhorn, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, announced in a press release Monday.
Ozerden will sentence Necaise on Oct. 16 and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison on each charge, according to the release, as well as fines up to $250,000 and three years of supervised release.
Agents with the Enforcement Office of the Mississippi Alcoholic Beverage Control (“ABC”) Division began investigating Necaise in 2018, according to the release. The investigation revealed that, over time, Necaise traveled out of state and obtained at least 569,775 pounds of sugar, a primary ingredient for moonshine. In addition, records showed Necaise getting large deliveries of propane gas to a rural shed in Hancock County, even during the summer. Agents tracked Necaise to Slidell, La., and observed him getting a pallet of sugar and coming back to Hancock County. Armed with a search warrant, ABC agents found forty 55-gallon drums of mash, 1,200 new plastic jugs and a 200-gallon stainless steel cooker, along with sugar and other items related to illegal moonshine. Necaise did not have a license to distill liquor.
Based on the records of the sugar purchased, it was determined that over 74,070 gallons of taxable whiskey would be produced.
“No excise tax has ever been paid by Necaise,” according to Hurst’s press release. “He therefore owes the ATF Tax and Trade Bureau $898,691.63 in Federal Excise Tax and the Mississippi Department of Revenue $369,752.50 in State Excise Tax.”
Hurst commended the work of the agents of the Enforcement Office of the Mississippi Alcoholic Beverage Control Division of the Mississippi Department of Revenue and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Forearms and Explosives, who cooperated in investigating the case.
Assistant United States Attorney Annette Williams is prosecuting the case, according to the release.