GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - A Kiln man is facing up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to illegally making moonshine.
Willie Necaise Jr., 77, appeared in federal court Friday, where he pleaded to the unlawful production of distilled spirits and interstate travel in aid of a racketeering enterprise.
Necaise was arrested in 2018 after Mississippi Alcoholic Beverage Control agents found evidence of the moonshine operation at his home in the Kiln.
Authorities say the investigation revealed that, over time, Necaise traveled out of state and obtained at least 569,775 pounds of sugar, a primary ingredient for moonshine.
In addition, records showed Necaise getting large deliveries of propane gas to a rural shed in Hancock County, even during the summer. Agents tracked Necaise to Slidell and observed him getting a pallet of sugar and coming back to Hancock County.
Armed with a search warrant, ABC agents searched Necaise’s property and found the following:
- 40 barrels (55 gallons each) mash
- A 200-gallon stainless steel cooker
- A condensing worm (coil)
- 82 bags (25 pounds each) sugar
- A 1993 Ford F-250
- Phones and various size empty drums and containers
Based on the records of the sugar purchased, it was determined that over 74,070 gallons of taxable whiskey would be produced. No excise tax has ever been paid by Necaise. He therefore owes the ATF Tax and Trade Bureau $898,691.63 in Federal Excise Tax and the Mississippi Department of Revenue $369,752.50 in State Excise Tax.
U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden will sentence Necaise on October 16 at 10 a.m. He faces a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison on each charge. He further faces fines up to $250,000 and 3 years of supervised release.
A woman, Tangela Davenport, was also arrested at the same time as Necaise. It’s unclear what the status of her charges are at this time.
U.S. Attorney Hurst commended the incredible work of the agents of the Enforcement Office of the Mississippi Alcoholic Beverage Control Division of the Mississippi Department of Revenue and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Forearms and Explosives, who cooperated in investigating the case. Assistant United States Attorney Annette Williams is prosecuting the case.