White Lightning Strike in Virginia

Craigslist ad leads to bust

Friday, Feb 11, 2011  |  Updated 9:30 PM EDT
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Alcohol agents shut down a moonshine operation with the help of <a title=Craigslist." />

Julie Carey

Alcohol agents shut down a moonshine operation with the help of Craigslist.

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When you make public your transgressions on Craigslist, you're bound to get caught.

When U.S. Rep. Chris Lee's alleged online infidelity was revealed this week, many reacted with shock that he could be so foolish as to e-mail a picture of himself shirtless to a woman he'd found on the Craigslist personals. So less shocking then, considering their anonymity and their crime, but just as foolish, was the moonshine bust of the Chraska brothers, of Woodbridge, Va.

A Craigslist ad for a still for sale led Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control agents to charge Lee Chraska, 26, and Joseph Chraska, 23, with illegally manufacturing alcohol.

The Craigslist ad prompted an undercover operation during which one of the brothers detailed the still and the 196-proof moonshine it could produce.

When Lee Chraska sold the still, demonstrated how it works and produced a sample of the moonshine to an undercover in Stafford, he was arrested and released. When agents executed a search warrant at the brothers' home in Prince William County, both were arrested.

In addition to finding a larger still, ingredients and some shine, agents also seized marijuana and a handgun.

Police do not believe the moonshine was intended for sale, NBC Washington Julie Carey reported, but it is still illegal in the commonwealth, as are stills.

Lee Chraska was also charged with possession of untaxed alcohol and possession of distilling apparatus. Joseph Chraska was also charged with manufacturing alcohol while armed and possession of marijuana.


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