When sheriff's deputies searched a home in Sonoma County back in March, they discovered something they suspected was a "still." They immediately called on California Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) agents for assistance and expertise.
Agents from the Santa Rosa District Office responded to assist the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department and determined they were, indeed, dealing with a working, functioning "still." The agents also found several mason jars of clear, manufactured distilled alcoholic beverage which was suspected to be "brandy" made from wine.
A sample of the suspected brandy was later tested by the Department of Justice (DOJ) crime lab and was determined to be a 120 proof alcoholic beverage.
"This all started as a CHP traffic stop," said Amanda Shaver. Shaver is an ABC agent and a board member of the California Association of State Investigators (CASI). CASI is an affiliate of the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA). "A CHP officer discovered a substantial amount of pre-packaged marijuana in the trunk of the vehicle and turned the case over to the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department. They secured a search warrant for the driver's home. That's when they discovered what they thought might be a 'still,' along with a marijuana cultivation operation and other narcotics, oxy and meth."
Not only was the driver arrested, so was his wife who was inside the home. Both suspects were booked on numerous drug charges and felony possession of an unlicensed still. A young child in the home was taken into protective custody by Child Protective Services.
"This is another example of our CSLEA members, in this case ABC agents, working in partnership with local law enforcement officers to enforce drug and alcohol laws in order to protect," said CSLEA President Alan Barcelona.
According to Shaver, "This is the first reported 'still' case in the history of the Santa Rosa district office."