National News

Winery Owners Face Wiretapping Charges

Posted January 18, 2018 7:00 p.m. EST

— Owners of a winery in the Poconos are facing felony charges after their business was raided.

Authorities raided Mountain View Vineyards Wednesday morning and took away the owners in handcuffs.

Linda and Randy Rice own the winery in Hamilton Township and are now facing felony charges of wiretapping.

Authorities say they were recording audio of customers and employees without their knowledge.

The Monroe County district attorney's office, along with county detectives, raided Mountain View Vineyards outside Stroudsburg.

Detectives took away brown paper bags and looked through awnings at the winery's location in Hamilton Township.

Owners Linda and Randy Rice were then taken away in handcuffs and arraigned in East Stroudsburg on felony charges of wiretapping.

"We own an alcohol establishment. We thought that was our right to make sure that no one was stealing alcohol," said Linda Rice.

According to investigators, the couple had four security cameras that recorded both audio and video.

Two were outside on the patio where customers sit. Two others were inside in the tasting room and the barrel room.

Nowhere on the property did the owners display signs saying they were recording audio, which is required by law.

"We did not know that we needed to put up a sign and that is all there is to it," Rice added.

Authorities say hundreds of audio and video recordings of customers and employees were also found on Randy Rice's cell phone.

The couple was released after they were booked at the Monroe County Prison. They're due back in court next month.