Moonshiner convicted

Dandridge man to be sentenced in March

By Nancy Harr

James Carrol Hickman, 41, of Dandridge, Tenn. was convicted of aiding and abetting in the illegal production of distilled spirits by a person who was not an authorized distiller (illegal production of “moonshine”).

Hickman was convicted on December 5, 2014, following a two-day jury trial and is scheduled for sentencing on March 17, 2015. Hickman faces a possible sentence of up to five years in federal prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

The evidence presented at trial showed Hickman worked for co-defendant Jack Mayfield, Jr. at a large scale illegal moonshine production operation in the Carson Springs area of Cocke County, Tenn. Hickman’s role at the operation included transporting supplies and distributing moonshine.

According to the testimony of a TBI agent, Hickman also admitted that he “cooked” moonshine. Testimony from an additional witness also demonstrated that Hickman was involved in the production of moonshine. The evidence further showed that the operation consisted of 18 stills, each with a capacity of 400 gallons.

Two other defendants have already been convicted in this case and are awaiting sentencing. Michael Steve Reece was convicted on November 7, 2013 and is scheduled for sentencing on March 10, 2015. Jack Mayfield, Jr. was convicted on October 9, 2014 and is scheduled for sentencing on February 12, 2015.

This investigation was a joint effort of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission, Tennessee Highway Patrol, and the Cocke County Sheriff’s Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Suzanne Kerney-Quillen and J. Christian Lampe represent the United States.

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