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franklin county times

Three men arrested in Kemper County raid

By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
August 28, 2004
An investigation that has lingered for four years came to an end Friday with the seizure of two moonshine stills and the arrests of three Kemper County men.
Rusty Hanna, a Mississippi Alcoholic Beverage Control agent, said that Ernest Byrd was charged with two felonies: possession of an illicit distillery and possession of stolen property. Byrd also was charged with a misdemeanor, possession of moonshine whiskey.
Byrd, who lives in Kemper County off Highway 495 on a rural route in Bailey, was being held Friday night in the Kemper County jail. Byrd's bond was set at $20,607.
Also arrested in the raid were a father and son who live about 11⁄2 miles from Byrd Klein Caldwell Jr., and Klein Caldwell III.
The Caldwells were both charged with two felonies: possession of an illicit distillery and the manufacture of marijuana. They also were charged with two misdemeanors: possession of moonshine whiskey and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Both men were being held Friday night in the Kemper County jail on a bond of $20,890 each.
At Byrd's home, Hanna said,165 gallons of moonshine were seized along with a still, a Dodge pickup truck and a stolen four-wheeler.
At the Caldwell home, Hanna said, 45 gallons of moonshine were seized, along with three firearms and a still capable of producing 100 gallons of moonshine a week.
Most of the moonshine was destroyed. Hanna said samples of whiskey and mash were kept as evidence. Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks and the Kemper County Sheriff's Department assisted in the investigation.

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