Father, son arrested after moonshine still discovered
BY ZACK STOYCOFF World Staff Writer
Saturday, January 05, 2013
1/05/13 at 5:34 AM
SOPER - Authorities found an "extremely large" moonshine still Thursday while searching the property of a man whose son is suspected of burning a neighbor's camper, Choctaw County Sheriff Terry Park said.
The still, with an estimated capacity of more than 200 gallons, was distilling whiskey in a storage unit when deputies executed a search warrant about 6 a.m. at the property near Soper, about 12 miles west of Hugo, Park said.
Deputies also found an empty still, multiple barrels of alcohol and a gun, authorities said.
Larry Holder, 69, the property's resident, was arrested and booked into the Choctaw County Jail on complaints of operating an untaxed whiskey still - a felony - as well as manufacturing corn liquor, possessing untaxed liquor and having a firearm in the commission of a felony, jail records show.
George Holder, 46, arrived during deputies' search and was arrested on suspicion of transporting the liquor, Park said. A subsequent search of his residence in Pushmataha County yielded moonshine, marijuana and guns.
He was booked into the Choctaw County Jail on complaints of possessing untaxed liquor, operating an unlicensed whiskey still and transporting a loaded firearm, records show.
Joe Daniels, the agent in charge of the state Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission's McAlester office, said the men had about 400 gallons of mash, the homemade beer used to make moonshine.
Authorities believe that they regularly distilled the mash in Soper and transported large quantities of the product to George Holder's residence, where it presumably was sold, Daniels said.
Deputies uncovered the operation while investigating reports that a camper belonging to a neighbor of Larry Holder's had burned shortly after George Holder threatened to burn the neighbor's possessions, Park said.
The neighbor told deputies that George Holder had become angry after the neighbor asked for help moving cattle off his land, Park said.
George Holder has not been charged in connection with the arson investigation.
ABLE agents bust at least one illegal distillery a year in southeastern Oklahoma - a hotbed for moonshine activity - but that number would be much higher if the agency could afford to investigate every complaint it receives, Daniels said.
"Southeast Oklahoma is typically the haven for moonshiners," he said. "I don't think people realize that it's a serious crime."
In Oklahoma, possessing a moonshine still with an intent to produce alcohol is a felony punishable by as much as three years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Original Print Headline: 2 jailed after moonshine still discovered
Zack Stoycoff 918-581-8486
A moonshine still estimated at more than 200 gallons was discovered Thursday in Choctaw County. Courtesy
Larry Holder (left) and George Holder: The father and son were arrested after deputies, investigating an arson in which the son is a suspect, found a moonshine still on the father's property