North Carolina authorities are reporting the discovery of 929 gallons of moonshine, buried in the backyard of a man following his arrest on suspicions of selling and distributing the spirit illegally.
63-year-old Roger Lee Nance of Wilkesboro was arrested Wednesday on charges of possession and intent to sell non-tax-paid liquor. According to John Ledford, new director of the N.C. Division of Alcohol Law Enforcement (ALE), “it’s one of the biggest mountain busts I can remember.” News of Nance’s arrest broke only one week after Ledford was sworn into office in Madison County, where he served as sheriff for the last 10 years.
Nance was storing the moonshine he made in various containers of different sizes and shapes beneath a shed in his backyard. He was arrested following a two-month investigation.
Having only recently taken office, Ledford is already seeing his share of controversy as well. Apparently during his election campaign, funds were accepted from a Weaverville, NC man who supports legalizing video poker and other gambling games. However, the ALE is also the state agency charged with busting illegal video poker. Ledford, who worked as an ALE agent for five years in the 1990s before resigning to become sheriff, says this would not affect his new position, and told the Raleigh News and Observer “I’ll do what I’ve always done as a law enforcement officer — I’m going to carry out the duties of my office fairly and impartially.”
Controversy has involved the state agency prior to Ledford’s election, as he replaces Bill Chandler, who retired abruptly in September following reports in The News & Observer and The Charlotte Observer about ALE’s implication in two missing assault rifles and other concerns involving use of firearms.