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Deputies Bust Moonshine Operation Near Lexington

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A possible moonshine still was found in an open covered shed on a rural property near Lexington. A possible moonshine still was found in an open covered shed on a rural property near Lexington.
CLEVELAND COUNTY, Oklahoma -

A moonshine operation is busted in the metro and it's all thanks to one big clue and the curiosity of some Cleveland County sheriff's deputies.

The still was found in an open covered shed on a rural property near Lexington. We've talked to moonshiners who admit making the illegal alcohol can rake in a lot of money, while others just want to try it out.

10/22/2013 Related Story: Possible Moonshine Still Found In Cleveland County

For some, making moonshine is a tradition dating back hundreds of years. The art of making the old-time whiskey is highlighted on a new Discovery Channel series.

Moonshining is a multi-million dollar industry. But, distilling that prized whiskey in the backwoods is illegal. Here in Oklahoma, it's a felony to distill alcohol without a license.

"It's a public safety issue, it's a health hazard. In addition to it being against the law, we're concerned about everybody's welfare," Capt. Brent Fairchild with the ABLE Commission said.

A little before 6 a.m. Saturday, Cleveland County Sheriff's deputies traced the tracks of a burned-out car to a possible moonshine still.

Apparently, the car was being towed on its rims before it caught fire. Tracks in the road led sheriff's deputies to the home, a stolen truck, and a makeshift moonshine operation.

"This was out there in open site," said Meghan McCormick with Cleveland County Sheriffs Office. "It appeared that there was a liquid and a mash product in the still."

"I've seen a resurgence of moonshine making, typically something you see mainly in a rural environment," Capt. Fairchild said.

Fairchild says TV shows like Discovery's Moonshiners may send the wrong message.

"Making people think it's really neat, really cool, and they want to go out and try it," Fairchild said.

Fairchild said a suspect has been identified, but no arrests have been made.

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