Local News

Moonshiner gets federal prison sentence

Posted January 6, 2010 12:47 p.m. EST
Updated January 6, 2010 1:02 p.m. EST

— 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.