Excise Officers Find Illegal Distilling Operation In Austin

Indiana State Excise Police officers cited a Scott County man Sunday afternoon on charges related to distilling liquor without a permit.

Excise Police Public Information Officer Travis Thickstun said excise officers charged Billy J. Morris, 52, of Austin, with possession of unlicensed equipment for production of alcoholic beverages, unauthorized dealing in alcohol, and sale of untaxed alcohol. Officers also seized a still and other items used to manufacture liquor.

Morris was to appear in Scott County Superior Court.

“It appears the popularity of producing alcohol has increased since the process was shown on the Discovery Channel show ‘Moonshiners’,” Superintendent Matt Strittmatter said. “Alcohol produced for human consumption is a very precise process, and if it not produced properly, it results in wood alcohol which, if consumed, can result in a serious health risks or death. State Excise officers will continue to investigate the illegal production of alcohol, so the health and well-being of Indiana citizen is ensured.”

As the enforcement division of the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission, the primary mission of the Indiana State Excise Police is to promote public safety by enforcing Indiana’s Alcoholic Beverage Code, Thickstun said. While excise officers have the authority to enforce any state law, they focus primarily on alcohol, tobacco and related laws.