US Marijuana Party

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Tracking moonshiners like a chess game, VA
BY REX BOWMAN / Richmond Times-Dispatch
Oct 19, 2005

Once an agent has chased a bootlegger through the underbrush, demolished a moonshine still with a pickax and watched the white lightning flow into the soil, other law-enforcement jobs begin to look mundane.

For Jay Calhoun, the work sure beats any job that requires wearing a tie and filling out forms. "This is really what I was cut out to do," he said. "I always wanted to work outdoors."

Calhoun, 48, dressed in tattered camouflage fatigues and muddy boots as he arrived at the Lynchburg office of the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, is head of the agency's one-of-a-kind Illegal Whiskey Unit.

The unit is a small band of agents who take pride in tracking down and capturing the wily moonshiners who have turned the making of illegal whiskey into a $20 million-a-year business in Virginia and who now may be increasing production.


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