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Moonshiner gets federal prison sentence

Posted January 6, 2010

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— A North Carolina man who brewed moonshine on an island in the Pasquotank River was sentenced Tuesday to 30 months in federal prison, authorities said.

John Dawson Pierce, 61, of South Mills, pleaded guilty in August to operating a liquor still without a license and unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He also was ordered to pay $60,855 in restitution and to forfeit two boats, a Ford F-150 pickup and a 2004 Nissan Altima.

An investigation revealed that between June 2005 and August 2007, Pierce purchased more than 21,000 pounds of sugar, a key ingredient in moonshine. In August 2008, federal agents conducted a traffic stop on one of his customers and found 30 gallons of moonshine in the trunk, authorities said.

A November 2008 search of Pierce's property turned up four firearms and 15 gallons of moonshine, authorities said.


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  • annadavis82 Jan 7, 2010

    I'm sure this will not be the most popular response. However, I think you have to keep in mind that this man has been in and out of prison for various charges since 1977 and had a less than stellar inmate record. All of this is taken into account when he is sentenced and is very easily researched with the department of corrections handy "offender search" tool. I'll post for you..http://www.doc.state.nc.us/offenders/.

  • carolinagirl75 Jan 6, 2010

    Let the man have a little 'shine. The guvmint's only problem with it is they didn't get its cut.

  • lkanzig Jan 6, 2010

    a guy tries to blow up a plane on christmas and the federal boys arrest a moonshiner??? where the you know what is our priorities people??? lets see drinking moonshine and not paying taxes or a plane blows up killing 300 people? you cant say goverment intelligence without laughing

  • fl2nc2ca2md2nc Jan 6, 2010

    smcallah, you either have no understanding of the U.S. Constitution or you don't care how it is being trampled on. And, really, why don't you get a GOLO profile instead of remaining totally anonomous while you so smugly attack others?

  • Just Once Jan 6, 2010

    All that over a little shine? I think those New Hanover County ABC people must have turned him in. He was threatening their bonus.

  • US VET Jan 6, 2010

    There are real criminals out there... Get them and leave the moonshiners alone...

  • smcallah Jan 6, 2010

    "How is this a federal offense?"

    I don't know, maybe because that is how the law is written and enforced?

    Also, he was in possession of a firearm as a convicted felon, which is certainly a federal offense.

    Do people just not read the articles anymore? Do they just read the headline and rush to comment here?

  • smcallah Jan 6, 2010

    "My uncle makes blackberry wine and gives to friends. Guess he will be on America's Most Wanted."

    Is your uncle selling it? No. Is he making more than 200 gallons per year? Probably not. Is your uncle a convicted felon and has a handgun?

    Do you see that what you uncle does isn't really the same thing as this story? I hope so.

  • fl2nc2ca2md2nc Jan 6, 2010

    Give me a break. How is this a federal offense?

  • twc Jan 6, 2010

    If it was a meth lab he would have gotten probation.