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United States man who ran illegal ‘winery’ inside sewage plant is sentenced

A man who was found to be running an illegal winery operation at a wastewater treatment plant has been sentenced in the United States.

Illegal winery in sewage plant
Credit: Dekalb County Sheriff’s Office

Allen Maurice Stiefel was arrested last December, according to local news reports, after the illegal ‘winery’ was discovered at a wastewater treatment plant in Rainsville, Alabama.

On 10 March, the 62-year-old sewage plant supervisor was handed a 90-day suspended sentence for unlawful possession of an illegally manufactured alcoholic beverage. A potentially more serious Class B felony charge of using his official position for personal gain was dropped after he pleaded guilty to the misdemeanour illegal alcoholic beverage charge.

According to court records cited by local media, he will also have to pay a $250 fine and cover court costs.

“I want to thank the mayor for his cooperation and willingness to allow law enforcement to do our job and shut something like this down,” DeKalb County Sheriff Nick Welden said in a statement.

“This is definitely one of the biggest operations we’ve seen in our county and possibly our state. A big thanks to the public and their tips against ALL illegal activities. Once again, it doesn’t matter who you are, no one is above the law. We won’t tolerate anyone using their position to hide their illegal actions at the taxpayer’s expense.”

You can read our initial report on the discovery of the illegal wine operation here.

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