Undercover purchase of alcohol in Walmart parking lot leads to discovery of still at Whiteville home

BLADEN/COLUMBUS COUNTIES, NC (WECT) - A Columbus County man was cited for multiple offenses after an undercover purchase of alcohol in the Walmart parking lot in Elizabethtown led to the discovery of a active liquor still in his back yard, officials said.

According to Bladen County Sheriff James A. Vicker, his department partnered with N.C. Alcohol Law Enforcement agents to launch an investigation into illegal alcohol distribution in Elizabethtown.

After an undercover purchase of a gallon of non-tax paid alcohol in the Walmart parking lot in Elizabethtown on July 27, agents conducted a traffic stop of the suspect vehicle in Clarkton.

Officials say that two additional gallons of alcohol were in plain sight in the back seat of the vehicle and that the driver, Jeremy Clark Powell, of Whiteville, had a concealed weapon.

Powell reportedly agreed to a search of his property at 1204 Sam Potts Highway, where officials said they found an active liquor still in a small building in the back yard along with 100 gallons of mash.

Powell, 36, was cited with:

  • possession of non tax paid liquor
  • possession of alcoholic beverages for sale without an ABC permit
  • selling alcoholic beverages without an ABC permit
  • knowingly use of real or personal property to be used for the manufacture of any alcoholic beverage
  • manufacture non tax paid liquor without obtaining an ABC permit
  • sell or possess equipment for use in the manufacture of any alcoholic beverage

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