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DA Sends Moonshine Case Back to Police

Riverside County officials requested Banning Police provide more information before filing charges against James Jonathan Collins, 47.

Riverside County District Attorney’s officials have asked Banning Police to gather more information before filing charges against a man suspected of building a moonshine still at his home.

“The District Attorney’s office sent the case back to us for further investigation,” said Banning Police Lt. Mike West.

Some of it may involve gathering some additional expert testimony on the still, West said. They sent the case back Tuesday, West said.

Banning Police arrested James Jonathan Collins, 47, at 4:49 p.m. at a home in the 1100 block of West King Street. Officers were serving a bench warrant Saturday when they detected a strong odor coming from the garage, according to a Banning Police news release.

When they checked inside, they found the still. At first, officers thought they might be dealing with a methamphetamine lab, West said.

“From the officers’ standpoint, they don’t really come across this very often,” West said. “As a matter of fact, it is the first still we’ve come across in my career. It’s not a very common occurrence here on the west coast.”

CAL Fire responded to the scene and rendered the still safe, officials said. The still was dismantled and officers recommended additional felony charges be filed against Collins.

Collins was booked into the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility for illegal distillation of an alcoholic beverage.

haden ward November 29, 2012 at 06:43 AM
I think that folks in the hills back east are laughing right now. What, one or two jars of whiskey? The D.A.'s office probably has a little more to deal with than a micro still. And from what I seen on T.V., how does a meth lab look like a shine still? I don't know, maybe I'm being a bit sarcastic. It just doesn't read well in the paper.........
haden ward November 29, 2012 at 06:44 AM
Sorry, three jars, at first, I thought one was empty.
LLODOWN November 29, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Tax payer $ hard @ WORK for the people. They thought it may EXPLODE! C'MON MAN. Three jars!!!

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