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Moonshine bust 'not a common thing,' say Sandy police

By Pat Reavy | Posted - Feb 22nd, 2013 @ 4:00pm

SANDY — Police say they haven't heard of anything like this in Utah since the days of Prohibition.

Two men were arrested this week after law enforcers found a working distillery in the basement of a Sandy home, producing moonshine that was dripping into a mason jar.

"It's not a common thing," Sandy Police Sgt. Jon Arnold of the bust.

The incident began when a SWAT team conducted a drug search at a home, 10704 Trail Ridge Circle (2120 East). They found narcotics as expected, Arnold said. But what they didn't expect to find was a working distillery in the basement.

Having a distillery that makes moonshine violates state and federal licensing rules, he said. Investigators believe the occupants of the house were making homemade hard liquor for personal use and were not selling it.

Prior to serving the warrant, SWAT members watched a car drive away from the residence. Recognizing two occupants in the vehicle that both had outstanding warrants as well as suspended licenses, police pulled the car over.

Derek Ouimet, 31, was arrested for investigation of meth possession and possession of drug paraphernalia in addition to his warrants. Jeremy Hiatt, 33, was arrested on an outstanding drug related warrant.

Because the moonshine distillery is so rare, police were still considering Friday what violations to pursue related to the distillery.

Home brewed beer or homemade wine is still legal in Utah, as long as the person doing it is 21 or older and is not making more than 100 gallons, Arnold said.

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