A man caught with a moonshine still and a meth lab has been given probation.
The defendant, Michael Lynn Rankhorn, 60, was granted a three-year judicial diversion on the single charge of promoting the manufacture of meth. The diversion means he can have his criminal record erased after he finishes his three years on probation. He will additionally have to pay a $2,000 drug fine. His charges for a moonshine still and marijuana found at his home were thrown out as part of his plea bargain.
He was busted after a sheriff’s investigator showed up at the door of his Parris Street home with a search warrant. Lawmen had come across information Rankhorn was illegally producing alcohol inside his house.
“There was two plastic barrels with spouts approximately 30 gallons each, located in a stand-up shower,” said sheriff’s investigator Steven Carpenter. “Each barrel contained fermenting corn mash.”
Carpenter found a cache of supplies Rankhorn was apparently planning to use to make more of his homemade recipe.
“Located in the same room was a five-gallon bucket of sugar and a five-gallon bucket of corn,” Carpenter revealed.
A further search of the house found more supplies and finished liquor.
“There was also a 25-pound bag of sugar in the living room along with about 2.25 gallons of finished liquor,” Carpenter said, noting he also found five pounds of corn in the suspect’s vehicle and then made another discovery in the basement. “Located in the basement was a still in operation.”
During the search, lawmen also found numerous items used in the production of meth and a small amount of marijuana along with glass pipes used to smoke meth.
Rankhorn entered his plea to the meth charge, which is a felony. The possession of the still and manufacture of alcoholic beverages counts are misdemeanors.