Alabama Homebrewer Arrested

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Hermit

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Does too much home brew lead to poor taste and inappropriate responses? You decide.

 
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DocBrown

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Kade, the individual in question, sent the following to one of the Alabama homebrewers mailing lists via e-mail earlier this week:

"Well they finally filed charges, and as I expected for "Alcohol Distill
(F) 028-004-024" as specified in the warrant. Which covers any alcoholic
beverages produced whether distilled or not.
Section 28-4-24
<http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/acas/CodeOfAlabama/1975/28-4-...>
*Distillation or manufacture of prohibited liquors and beverages.*

Distillation or manufacture of prohibited liquors and beverages.

Any person, firm or corporation who shall, within this state, distill,
make or manufacture any alcoholic, spirituous, malted or mixed liquors
or beverages, any part of which is alcohol, shall be guilty of a felony
and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment at hard
labor in the penitentiary for not less than one year nor longer than
five years, such imprisonment to be fixed within these limits by the court.

/(Acts 1919, No. 7, p. 6; Code 1923, �4627; Code 1940, T. 29,
�103.)/

I turned myself in yesterday, and luckily without any hassle. Bond was
set at $5000, and made bail just after processing with a property bond.
The court date is set for the 6th of October. So I can at least go to my
house and clean up the aftermath, and replace my front door.
So with the charges filed as they are, it's maybe best to not involve
the homebrewing associations. However, I'd be willing to except help on
a personal basis if anyone so desires."
One of his associates said that if anyone would like to contribute to Kade's legal defense, you may PayPal him at [email protected]. All excess funds will be donated towards legalizing homebrewing in Alabama.
 

batonrougegu

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I read all 13 pages now and don't you think that if there was a still it would have been in the picture?(with the scopes of course)

If you really really think about it,a water distiller is almost like a modern day coffee pot,without a filter pretty much the same concept.
 

tunoffun

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:mad::mad:
my 2c on the report is first, homebrewing in Alabama is illegal. So he, was breaking the law. Suppose he was not distilling, then where did the 8 gallons of moonshine come from? The conical would make a great pot still by simply adding some elements. The sheriff must know something about moonshine because the report mentioned the "bead". I respect the brewer for being a Vet but even so, the law is the last word when it comes to what we can and cannot do. Firearm found at an illegal site, even though legal, always adds to the alleged crime. I think he'll be learnig how to do stuff worse that making beer at home for the next few months, if he doesn't get probation.
With all due respect...

F**(&*() that.

"The firearm found at an illegal site, even though legal, always adds to the alleged crime"?????????? Are you kidding me????????? I don't see any bodies in the fridge. So why don't you educate me as to exactly how the possession of firearms (a constitutional RIGHT) makes his crimes any worse???? :mad:

The fact that the sherriff added the scopes/firearms in only shows what a POS he is trying to make a war veteran who fought for your freedom look like a mexican drug runner.

Absolutely disgusting.
 

GunnerMan

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"The firearm found at an illegal site, even though legal, always adds to the alleged crime"?????????? Are you kidding me????????? I don't see any bodies in the fridge. So why don't you educate me as to exactly how the possession of firearms (a constitutional RIGHT) makes his crimes any worse???? :mad:

The fact that the sherriff added the scopes/firearms in only shows what a POS he is trying to make a war veteran who fought for your freedom look like a mexican drug runner.

QUOTE]

I don't think the poster was saying the firearm made it worse but it adds fuel to the fire.

Going back to the Federal law part of all Fed Law supercedes state laws, this is false. Look at the 2nd Amendment: yup dosen't apply in NY or California to name a few. Seems our constitution has become more of a guideline :/ If I were him I would make it known to the jury that it is legal in all other 48 states and has caused zero problems etc and fight to not get the felony.

As for the homebrewing bust it is STUPID. A felony to make a beer? Are you kidding me, and look at that sheriffs face, looking like he has a jar of heroin. Hideous excuse of an American and even though I live in New Mexico I feel very compeled to let that Sheriff know how I feel about him.
 

JebCkr

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Hmm, this is the county above where my parents live. Being Alabama, this doesn't surprise me in the least. Law enforcement here is notorious for being incompetent and looking for any excuse to fine someone.
 

curlyfat

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If I were him I would make it known to the jury that it is legal in all other 48 states....
I'm not the best at math, but I think there's a total of 50 states... :tank:

:mug:

Sorry I'm off topic and not adding anything useful. Just really wanted to subscribe really.
 

Jud

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I have mixed feelings about this. Thankfully I live in Georgia where I can brew beer. Do I agree the distilling laws, no I think they are out dated. I think that if the government could come up with a way to control and taxing it then it would be legal. Like taking a government required course on distilling, test, and purchasing a home distillers license at an affordable price. We had to take a driver's course and test, then purchase a license. Why not do the same for distilling? And just think of the extra jobs it would create. But until distilling is legal, I will stay clear of it. Besides I hear the food and view out the bars sucks!
 

ndsgr

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I have mixed feelings about this. Thankfully I live in Georgia where I can brew beer. Do I agree the distilling laws, no I think they are out dated. I think that if the government could come up with a way to control and taxing it then it would be legal. Like taking a government required course on distilling, test, and purchasing a home distillers license at an affordable price. We had to take a driver's course and test, then purchase a license. Why not do the same for distilling? And just think of the extra jobs it would create. But until distilling is legal, I will stay clear of it. Besides I hear the food and view out the bars sucks!
Agree but why even do all that? If you don't cook chicken correctly, you can die. We don't require a permit for that. I don't distill either, but would really like to if it was legal.

Anyone hear any results? His court case was on the 6th.
 

Hermit

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I have mixed feelings about this. Thankfully I live in Georgia where I can brew beer. Do I agree the distilling laws, no I think they are out dated. I think that if the government could come up with a way to control and taxing it then it would be legal. Like taking a government required course on distilling, test, and purchasing a home distillers license at an affordable price. We had to take a driver's course and test, then purchase a license. Why not do the same for distilling? And just think of the extra jobs it would create. But until distilling is legal, I will stay clear of it. Besides I hear the food and view out the bars sucks!
Part of the reason for the home ban on distillation is monetary. Part of it is to control alcohol consumption. That is why some states have 'state stores'. The state could make more money if more was sold but they want to keep it from being an impulse purchase, something you just pick up because you see it at the store. It is probably a good thing for some people, but a PITA for the rest. I went to a home brew club meeting yesterday and probably drank less than 16 oz total and half of that was for a BJCP class.
 

cimirie

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:mad::mad:


"The firearm found at an illegal site, even though legal, always adds to the alleged crime"?????????? Are you kidding me????????? I don't see any bodies in the fridge. So why don't you educate me as to exactly how the possession of firearms (a constitutional RIGHT) makes his crimes any worse???? :mad:

The fact that the sherriff added the scopes/firearms in only shows what a POS he is trying to make a war veteran who fought for your freedom look like a mexican drug runner.

QUOTE]

I don't think the poster was saying the firearm made it worse but it adds fuel to the fire.

Going back to the Federal law part of all Fed Law supercedes state laws, this is false. Look at the 2nd Amendment: yup dosen't apply in NY or California to name a few. Seems our constitution has become more of a guideline :/ If I were him I would make it known to the jury that it is legal in all other 48 states and has caused zero problems etc and fight to not get the felony.

As for the homebrewing bust it is STUPID. A felony to make a beer? Are you kidding me, and look at that sheriffs face, looking like he has a jar of heroin. Hideous excuse of an American and even though I live in New Mexico I feel very compeled to let that Sheriff know how I feel about him.
The US Supreme Court has ruled and upheld that no municipality or state can ban the purchase or possession of firearms. In fact, they have overturned lower court rulings that stated as much. There are no enforceable laws in California or New York that ban ownership od guns.
 

Airborneguy

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Look at the 2nd Amendment: yup dosen't apply in NY or California to name a few.
We in NYC have issues of access to our 2nd Amendment rights, but the state is an entirely different matter. Many people forget that the vast majority of NY is extremely rural; nothing at all like the City.

California may have statewide issues with guns, but NY does not. Not even close.
 

daedelus902

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When local authorities make an arrest that is a bit in the grey area of the law they tend to "stretch" what is in the arrest warrant. For instance, the Sherrif isn't holding up 5 gallons of whisky. If there were five gallons of whisky you can bet your mortgage they would have it in the picture for the hearing and trial. They are likely claiming the beer fermenting in the 5-gallon carboy is "whisky" which is a common CYA for law inforcement who are trying to make charges "stick" when they know something isn't quite right with the arrest. In Alabama as well as most other states "mash" can be fermented without incident and is well within the law. Also, the "whisky" he's holding up looks more like sterilized water to me. I have a mason jar with steril water exactly like that prepared for beer yeast when needed, (at all times). So, my guess is this is one guy who just pissed off the wrong bully cop. It will most likely get thrown out.

Does anyone see a still in the picture? Nope.
 

daedelus902

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Federal Law superceded all State Alcohol Control laws after Prohibition. The "Law" prohibiting brewing in Alabama is "illegal". Imagine that.
 

remilard

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Federal Law superceded all State Alcohol Control laws after Prohibition. The "Law" prohibiting brewing in Alabama is "illegal". Imagine that.
I suspect you have this wrong. The Federal Government has no open container laws, for example, so are you suggesting that those are all illegal? If so, why do the courts disagree?
 

Malticulous

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Let me offer some clarification on this subject. Those of us in the homebrewing circles in Alabama have been following this closely for a while. We've been hesitant to say much until we found out more facts about the case. First, homebrewing of beer is a felony in the state of Alabama. In some ways, the fact that it is a felony is a protection since law enforcement is going to be somewhat reticent in sending an otherwise upstanding citizen to jail for a relatively harmless crime. So, we (the group behind the homebrew legalization effort) have been trying to decide what position to take on this situation:
1) If distillation is really involved, it poses a major problem to our legalization efforts since some of our opponents are trying to associate homebrewing with moonshining. In this case, we would need (at an organizational level) to distance ourselves from this guy and assure the powers that be that he is in no way representative of the rest of us. (I am speaking only of the organizational level and not of our personal feelings about the guy and the individual desire to support him.)
2) If there is no distillation involved, he could potentially serve as a cause celebre in our legalization efforts. After all, what elected representative wants to see a guy who has faithfully served our country in two tours in Iraq thrown in jail just for enjoying a hobby that is legal in 48 of the 50 states?

Now, some additional facts: (These should be considered hearsay for legal purposes. I have them from someone who has spoken directly to Kade, the person in question.)
1) Kade has rightly been advised by his lawyer to keep quiet since the prosecution has a right to use anything he says. As such, you won't see any direct statements from him showing up in public forums. This is the major reason that there is little clarity on the issue.
2) Kade has been a longtime resident of Blount County, and there are longstanding feuds between some of the families there. It has been alleged that one of his neighbors that had a grudge against him reported to the cops that he was manufacturing meth. In the course of visiting his property, the cops supposedly spotted his brewing equipment through the window and got a warrant to raid his house.
3) There was a small still on his property along with a quantity of ethanol. Kade said that he has not distilled any liquor and the ethanol they found was given to him by someone else. In fact, he was intending to experiment with converting his farm equipment over to run off of ethanol.
Some of you may have not read the whole thread. In bold is a little tidbit that is illegal in all states. It's a real sore spot in Alabama and the biggest problem with brewing legalization there. I reiterate my other post in this thread--this guy did a big disservice to homebrewers in Alabama.
 

Scooby_Brew

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I thank God I don't live in this backward, moronic, idiotic, inbred State of Talibama. Every time I read this thread I swear I hear banjos in the background playing the theme from "Deliverance".
 

daedelus902

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I am not a consitutional attorney, (however, I am a criminal attorney), and I can tell you this arrest will likely be challenged and overthrown or simply thrown out. From a State only perspective I think I understand your position, but because State Law is not read en excludum to Federal law I think this case could easily roll back AL law. No, I don't think I am not misreading Federal law.

First, State Law is superceded by Federal Law where no State Law "pre"-exists, however the Feds have made it clear in matters of substance control that Federal Law will be enforced. For instance, certain substance legalalization Laws in CA have repeatedly been challenged and struck down in the 9th Circuit. Also, the changing nature of brewing laws in Alabama after prohibition nullify precedent, in other words, Federal ABC Laws concerning the brewing limits of "mash" are easily argueable.

Last, that AL authorities have repeatedly tried to show ipso with regard to brewing and distilling. A strong statistic can be shown otherwise and easily demonstrate the heavy handed nature of AL brewing law even prior to an appeal. A conviction can easily be overturned but also be used to strike down AL brewing prohibition. This Sherrif and AG are initiating a legal deadfall and thus the drama surrounding this case. It will not end well for them unless they do alot of threatening, (which they seem to be doing even now).
 

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Unfortunately the law has become a political maneuvering game rather than the precedent logic the public is led to believe. This sounds like a closed door case if there every was one.
 

cedar_lake

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Captain, Scooby,

I am not a consitutional attorney, (however, I am a criminal attorney and am also homebrewer), and I can tell you this arrest will likely be challenged and overthrown or simply thrown out. No, I am not misreading Federal law.

First, State Law is superceded by Federal Law where no State Law "pre"-exists, however the Feds have made it clear in matters of substance control that Federal Law will be enforced. For instance, certain substance legalalization Laws in CA have repeatedly been challenged and struck down in the 9th Circuit. Also, the changing nature of brewing laws in Alabama after prohibition nullify precedent, in other words, Federal ABC Laws concerning the brewing limits and alcohol "mash" are, in fact, the law in Alabama.

May I ask why it is that you seem to misunderstanding the Law? What is your position and point in this matter?
Well, the federal law states:

"United States Code Title 27, Part 25, Subpart L, Section 25.205 and Section 25.206
Beer For Personal or Family Use

§ 25.205 Production.
(a) Any adult may produce beer, without payment of tax, for personal or family use and not for sale. An adult is any individual who is 18 years of age or older. If the locality in which the household is located requires a greater minimum age for the sale of beer to individuals, the adult shall be that age before commencing the production of beer. This exemption does not authorize the production of beer for use contrary to State or local law.

Emphasis mine. It appears that broad authority to regulate (and prohibit) production was left up to the individual states.
 

v2comp

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one of us down here has asked the ABC for clarification on one of the sections in the law that, depending on the actual charge could make part of his case for him.
basically, the way the law reads currently is that it is unlawful to have equipment for the manufacture of alcohol in your posession without a license.
but another conflict with this law has surfaced and is challenging the whole thing. basically, new breweries and brewpub startups today cant technically purchase brewing equipment and have it in their posession prior to having their license, but you cant get your license without having all of your equipment in place and are ready to brew, because of the inspection process before they can issue the license. we are waiting on clarification from the ABC, because technically if you buy all your brewing equipment and the ABC see's it, they could confiscate it. they havent done it yet thankfully, because most of the ABC officers I have met are regular guys that are just trying to do their jobs, they know that these breweries are opening a business and give them a break. local sherrifs, police officers and state troopers dont deal with this kind of thing much unless they are enforcing a warrant for something else and incidentially find equipment or ingredients laying around in the open. it will be interesting how the ABC addresses this contradiction.
 

v2comp

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Unfortunately the law has become a political maneuvering game rather than precedent logic as most of the public is led to believe. This sounds like a closed door case if there every was one.
yeah, he would.........the majority of people voting in his dry county think he is saving them from the devil.
 

daedelus902

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Scooby, you appear to have very strong sterotypical opinions about our Southern culture. Being from Michigan I can tell you that you have no claim on education, wisdom, or forward thinking, (to be sure). I've met Union Marathon workers from Detroit that barely graduated from elementary school who could neither read nor write, (a girlfriend's father and mother from my undergad).

Having lived all my life in NC I have never met anyone who was illiterate here in this State. I can assure you your MI level of intellect does not approach this country boy's intellect here in NC. Maybe you should cease and desist your improper stereotype while you're ahead?
 

daedelus902

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v2comp,

If he does, he, (and they), are waaaaay off, however, we don't know the motives yet do we? As a Christian man and a homebrewer I can tell you he does not represent our ancient and historical world view. Most brewing of liquors, beer and spirits were perfected by monks and tribes in Western Europe for centuries. I take great honor in following the tradition of brewing beer. Martin Luther and John Huss, (and most German Christians), took great pleasure in drinking beer as part of a long healthy culture of preserving barley over the winter in liquid form. So before this becomes a misdirected bashing, let the truth be known.
 

Laughing_Gnome_Invisible

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Scooby, you appear to have very strong sterotypical opinions about our Southern culture. Being from Michigan I can tell you that you have no claim on education, wisdom, or forward thinking, (to be sure). I've met Union Marathon workers from Detroit that barely graduated from elementary school who could neither read nor write, (a girlfriend's father and mother from my undergad).

Having lived all my life in NC I have never met anyone who was illiterate here in this State. I can assure you your MI level of intellect does not approach this country boy's intellect here in NC. Maybe you should cease and desist your improper stereotype while you're ahead?
Yeah, but can you play the banjo!!? :D

Just kidding, honestly. :mug:
 

Edcculus

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Federal Law superceded all State Alcohol Control laws after Prohibition. The "Law" prohibiting brewing in Alabama is "illegal". Imagine that.
This is wrong. Federal law allows for home brewed beer to be produced and consumed sans tax to the Federal Government, as would normally happen in any business producing alcohol. They left the legality of brewing in the home up to the individual states. The Federal law is very important since it opened the door for states to legalize brewing.
 

Justibone

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Some of you may have not read the whole thread. In bold is a little tidbit that is illegal in all states. It's a real sore spot in Alabama and the biggest problem with brewing legalization there. I reiterate my other post in this thread--this guy did a big disservice to homebrewers in Alabama.
According to ATF, stills of less than 1 gallon capacity, or stills producing ethanol for non-consumption purposes are not illegal. For instance, if I had a still for purifying alcohol decoctions for the purpose of making perfumes, they would not be interested in collecting taxes from it. (I don't have a still.)

Having the equipment to produce an illicit substance, or a licit substance illicitly, as it were, provokes a requirement on the part of the possessor to provide a credible explanation for said equipment. For instance, if I had two cases of cold medicine, a few liters of acids and bases, and a propane grill, along with cookpots and other various items... they would pretty much assume I was cooking meth. The burden of proof would be on me to explain the items (especially the cold medicine). If I could not, then I would be contemplating an extended stay at the old "Graybar Hotel", courtesy of Federal agents.

Anyways, who has two thumbs and is not a laywer? This guy.

If in doubt, don't ferment!
 

Airborneguy

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Federal Law superceded all State Alcohol Control laws after Prohibition. The "Law" prohibiting brewing in Alabama is "illegal". Imagine that.
With all due respect to your criminal law background, don't you think that the AHA has studied this issue enough, with very learned legal experts, that if you were right, they would know it and not waste millions of dollars supporting legalization campaigns in the states where homebrewing is/was illegal?
 

the_bird

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I don't think there's ever been any debate about states' rights to prohibit homebrewing, the statute reads clearer than virtually any other law in this respect.

"This exemption does not authorize the production of beer for use contrary to State or local law."

Pretty damn clear that the Feds are letting the states go ahead and keep their own restrictions in place as well.

Jimmy Carter signed the law that let states go ahead and legalize homebrewing. There's no "that what the law appears to say" - that's what the law says, and how it's always been interpreted.
 
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