H> I KKRY POPK
Ibxic lead lias been t'ounil in 81
gallons ot moonshine confiscated in
.1 Brunswick C'ininly sting operation
Law enforcement officials are
wanting people who consume the il
legally distilled com whiskey that
the liquor may be packing an extra,
and sometimes fatal, punch.
"Since we haven't been able to
locate the still, there's a tremendous
possibility that it remains in opera
tion," said Tom Parker, of the N.C.
Alcohol I .aw Enforcement office in
The Al.E office and the
Brunswick County Sheriff's l\*
paruncnl .ire in the midst ol a spe
cial investigation to break up still
operations in Brunswick County,
liie sung in July resulted in the
confiscation of SI gallons of moon
shine while live persons were ar
rested on various charges.
Parker said tests show the moon
shine contained high levels of lead,
which usually enters the liquor from
soldered piping that is part of the
li contained quantities of up to 6.8
|iarts per million (ppni) ol lead, said
Parker. Hie maximum recommended
level for lead in drinking water is .05
ppm. Ilie accumulation of lead in the
Nxl) can cause brain damage.
"Lead is neurotoxic," said
Andrew P. Mason, chief toxicolo
gist at the office of the N.C. Chief
Medical Examiner. "It causes
BY DOUG RUTTER
Shallotte officials are Irving to
come up with a plan that will allow
peddlers to continue selling from
vehicles and roadside stands with
out creating an eyesore or hurling
merchants who pay taxes.
A town committee is studying the
situation and considering different
options, including the possibility of
finding vacant property where all
peddlers could set up shop.
Mayor Sarah Tripp said residents
have been complaining about the
number of people selling out of
"shanties" on the side of the road.
They sell clothing, furniture, sea
food and produce from trucks and
"I like to buy my produce that
way but 1 like for it to be neat,"
Mrs. Tripp said at a recent town
meeting. "I think it's more attrac
Mayor Pro Teni Paul Wayne
Reeves said the area near the comer
of Main Street and Smith Avenue is
a "terrible eyesore" because so
many peddlers gather there.
"I don't think there's a business
in town that would want that next
door to them," he said.
Reeves said the board shouldn't
allow peddlers to drive away busi
ness owners who pay taxes on
buildings and are try ing to sell the
same merchandise as the peddlers.
"I think we owe it to the mer
chants of the town and the people
who have been here a long time and
paid the taxes." he said.
Peddlers are allowed to sell in
town if they buy a S25 license each
year. Those that sell from trucks
that weigh at least half a ton must
buy a $1(K) privilege license.
Reeves, who is serving on the
committee with Alderman Joe He
wett, said he's visited communities
that have all of the peddlers in one
area, much like a farmer's market.
He said Shallotte might be able to
do the same thing somewhere off
Main Street away from the down
However, Alderman Wilton
Harrelson said he doesn't think a
few complaints about unsightly
stands is a sufficient reason to
change the rules. He thinks the town
board should study the situation be
fore doing anything.
"Shallotte is not Ashcvillc,
Raleigh, Charlotte or Columbia," he
said. "Roadside selling has been go
ing on ever since people used to
pull the produce in here on a mule
Board member Jody Simmons
said he partially agrees with
Harrelson. "We're not Raleigh, but
we've got merchants paying taxes
with businesses in this town that we
owe some sort of consideration."
Seized In County Sting Operation In July Contains Poisonous Lead
changes in the brain at very low
Mason said the amount touiut in
ilie Brunswick County moonshine
' is a significant amount ami is po
Since the regional investigation
began, ALE agents have located
and destroyed an illegal liquor still
in Onslow County near the Maple
Hill community, saitl Parker.
"We do not believe it had any
connection to this case." he added.
In the Brunswick County case,
the SI gallons were sei/ed as part ol
an ongoing investigation that began
April 26. Charged in the ring were
Lindsey Jacob Simmons Sr.. of
Shalloltc; Tony Edwin Benton, ol
Supply: Hannah I ewis Bellamy, of
Southport; Shcrnll Minson Tart and
Steven Shemll Tart II. of Chad
The liquor sales would have re
sulted m lust tax revenues of over
S3.(XX) to the suite, estimated
The toxic moonshine could have
Iveii distilled in Brunswick County
or shipped in from another area.
"It's not exclusively shipped a
long way, nor is it always locally
produced and sold," he said.
'There's a history of both."
ALE agents and sheriff's deputies
involved in the investigation have
done a good job of "curtailing the
illegal liquor business in the area,"
said Joe Dean, secretary of N.C.
Crime Control and Public Safety.
"Let's hope that ik> one has drunk
enough of the moonshine to cause
any harm," said IX'an.
l"he investigation is continuing,
Anyone with information should
contact the Wiln?ingU>n Al.F. office,
395-3902, or the Brunswick County
Sheriff's Department, 253-4321.
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