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Hall law authorities still pursue illegal alcohol cases
3 arrested, accused of bootlegging booze last weekend
1117AlcoholAlbert Lee Scott Sr
Albert Lee Scott Sr.

It seems as though speakeasies and bootlegging would be a thing of the past. Though it happens rarely, authorities still make arrests for illegal alcohol sales.

"We do a few bootlegging cases in a year's time," said Lt. Scott Ware of the Gainesville-Hall County Multi Agency Narcotics Squad. "It's not our normal focus, which is drugs and gangs."

This past weekend, three people were arrested and accused of selling alcohol illegally out of a home on Brown Street.

Ware alleged suspects were selling beer, wine, mixed drinks and shots of moonshine. There was also a buffet and a stripper pole set up at the house.

Arrested were Albert Lee Scott Sr., 54, Jamal Ramone Williams, 36, both of Gainesville, and Timeka Michelle Tabb, 27, of North Carolina, officials said.

Ware believes part of the appeal of bootleg establishments is that they run on their own rules.

"In this particular area, there's a lot of traffic on foot," Ware said. "Bars close at whatever time they close, but the bootlegging operations don't necessarily have a closing time."

Ware said in this case, residents tipped off law enforcement with complaints of increased traffic in the area.

"You couldn't even get up the streets on the weekends because of the traffic and the parking," Ware said.

The incident resulted in charges of selling alcohol without a license and possession of untaxed distilled spirits for the moonshine.

There was only a small bottle of moonshine, Ware said.

Beer is the most common alcohol they find being sold illegally.

"It's store-bought alcohol with the exception of the moonshine," Ware said. "Occasionally we'll get a bootlegging operation that sells beer as well as liquor, but the most common is just beer."

In 2008, two men were tried at the federal courthouse in Gainesville on charges of selling moonshine in Nicholson and Commerce.

The men were caught selling the illegal liquor to an undercover agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Richard Coes, a public information officer for the bureau, said they sporadically see cases involving illegal alcohol, or moonshine, manufacturing.

"That clearly is not something that we at ATF do on a regular basis, but that is within the purview of our job description," Coes said. "What we typically are looking for are those individuals who are looking to divert the taxes from the state for the sale of alcohol."

He said the other issue with illegally selling homemade alcohol like moonshine is that it is unregulated.

"If it's not regulated, it could be potentially dangerous to those who consume that alcohol," Coes said.

 

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