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Friday, May 25, 2018
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Three Polk men charged in illegal moonshine operation

An ongoing investigation into the sale and distribution of illegal moonshine resulted in the arrests of three Polk County men.

On Thursday, Polk County detectives served search warrants to the three Haines City men — Joe Aaron, Rickey Lamar Barnes and Jacob Reed Mayes — on suspicion they were making, selling and distributing moonshine from their homes.

Deputies say detectives searching the home of Aaron, 73, of 3423 Carter Road, found a moonshine still and equipment inside his garage, along with numerous mason jars of assorted flavored moonshine.

The still was located in a bathroom next to a dirty sink and toilet, deputies say, and the moonshine appears to have been distilled from a mixture of grains.

Aaron also was storing moonshine made by Mayes, 28, of 109 Uncle Pete Road S., deputies say. Detectives located numerous jars and jugs containing assorted flavors of moonshine.

In addition to moonshine, detectives searching Barnes’ house at 4730 Carl Boozer Rd. found 59 grams of marijuana in a mason jar inside a safe in his bedroom. He also was manufacturing moonshine with such flavors as pineapple, apple pie and peach.

According to deputies, Barnes said the marijuana was for his personal use, but he forgot about it and he was saving it for “a rainy day.”

The sale and distribution of illegal moonshine are felony offenses.

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