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Authorities Bust Apparent Home Brew Moonshine Still

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BELLVILLE, Ohio - Acting on an anonymous tip, Richland County Sheriff's deputies said they responded to a Bellville, Ohio home August 16, where they discovered what appears to be a moonshine still being operated in the laundry room.

Richland County Deputy Reggie Ganzhorn said the homeowner was immediately cooperative with authorities when they arrived, answering their questions and taking them inside the house where they found a cabinet filled with bottles of a clear liquid, a copper tub-- a dry wall housing with copper and rubber pipes and tubes running from it, and other items that investigators said is consistent with a moonshine still.

"When you make moonshine there's a heating process going on so there was appliances there that were converted over to make moonshine, to be used in that process," said Ganzhorn.

Authorities confiscated two large blue plastic barrels that contain what they call "mash."

"There's what they call mash where a material sits and ferments and then it is heated and condensed so it appeared to us that this was a likely process being completed here for the making of moonshine."

Their report showed that the investigators also confiscated numerous firearms from the home including an AK-47 and a sawed-off shotgun.

In a statement made to the deputies, the homeowner told them he makes fuel that he runs in vehicles.

Their report, however, also said, "he makes some for (another suspect) to drink and that he sold a small amount."

"The making of moonshine is also similar to the making of ethanol, so the substance can be used to fuel vehicles, as a fuel, so that substance would have a higher octane so more than likely the materials were being used for consumption and also for fuel," said Ganzhorn.

"There are health concerns with the making of moonshine; people can go blind and have some serious health effects if the process is not done properly or items are added to moonshine that are not healthy. So it's not a safe process; it's unregulated," he added.

Charges had not yet been filed, while the liquid that was confiscated in the bottles was being analyzed by a crime lab.