Winemaker Busted For Illegal Booze Also Had Huge Weapons Cache: Cops
The bust of a California winemaker who was allegedly making booze without a license became much more when ABC officials say they found a large cache of unlicensed weapons.
California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control arrested Sterling Albert of Martinez on Thursday when they say they seized more than 40 illegal and unregistered firearms including assault rifles, grenade launchers and gun silencers at the 53-year-old's home.
According to an ABC statement, agents had been investigating a storefront linked to the winemaker, where untaxed liquor was allegedly being sold.
Authorities have not speculated about why Albert might have been in possession of the weapons.
Agents also seized two illegal stills along with more than 200 gallons of illegal distilled spirits and over 500 cases of illegally produced wine, according to the release.
"The possession of unregistered stills and the production of distilled spirits without a federal permit and without payment of tax are federal felony offenses," the agency wrote. "Illegal stills are potentially explosive and can pose a significant threat to public safety. A distilled spirit made illegally may also not be safe to consume."
Albert was arrested for possessing a still and selling alcoholic beverages without a license.
Additional felony charges were later added to the arrest for possessing the illegal and unregistered firearms.