TABC says moonshine operation was inspired by TV show

Published: Mar. 22, 2012 at 7:31 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 23, 2012 at 2:50 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - A Smith County man will soon be jailed, charged in connection to a moonshine bust near Chapel Hill. Authorities say the suspect told them he was inspired to make the alcohol after watching a cable TV show.

The raid happened Wednesday in the 9,300 block of County Road 2301, just east of Chapel Hill in Smith County. TABC authorities say Donald Clark's moonshine operation was illegal and extremely dangerous.

TABC confiscated Clark's moonshine operation Wednesday afternoon. They say Clark assembled the operation after watching the TV series, Moonshiners.

"Ever since the show aired in its completion, we'd have calls at our office with people concerned, saying can I do this as a hobby? Is it legal? And we've heard people just talking about it," said TABC Sergeant Marcus Stokke. "I think it was just a matter of time before somebody did surface."

Stokke says in the state of Texas, it's illegal to distill liquor. Investigators uncovered two stills during the bust on Clark's property. There is some suspicion that Clark was making the moonshine for profit, but from what Stokke gathered at the scene, he says he doesn't think so.

"He said the main reason for it is that it made him sleep really well," he said. 
Stokke says making moonshine is risky; not quite as dangerous as cooking meth, but it comes close.
"What he was using was propane tanks, and there's always a danger when you're out there making something like that," said Stokke. "So, there's always the chance that something could explode."
It's a risk that Stokke predicts others will take. Finding them, he says, is their job.
During the raid, Constable Dennis Taylor witnessed Clark making threats to our news crew and his attempt to hit, or acting as if he was going to hit, our news vehicle with his own car.  

Taylor discussed with KLTV an intention to charge Clark with disorderly conduct for that alleged incident. Taylor also says Clark will be charged with possession of an illicit alcohol.

Related Stories:
Copyright 2012 KLTV. All rights reserved.