Mississippi man faces up to 10 years in prison, $1.2M in back taxes on moonshine charges

GULFPORT, Miss. — A Mississippi man pleaded guilty Friday to the illegal production of moonshine and other charges and now faces as many as 10 years in prison.

Willie Necaise Jr., 77, entered the pleas to federal charges of unlawful production of distilled spirits and interstate travel in aid of a racketeering enterprise, the Sun Herald reported.

According to WLOX, Necaise was arrested in 2018 after Mississippi Alcoholic Beverage Control agents found evidence of the moonshine operation at his Kiln home, including enough fermented mash to make 200 gallons of the potent potable.

Investigators determined that, over time, Necaise traveled out of state and obtained at least 569,775 pounds of sugar, a primary ingredient for moonshine. Additional records indicate he accepted large deliveries of propane gas to a rural shed in Hancock County, even during the summer, the TV station reported.

According to a U.S. Attorney’s Office news release, authorities determined Necaise had produced more than 74,000 gallons of moonshine without a permit.

Based on those figures, Necaise will be ordered to pay federal and state taxes totaling about $1.2 million for the illegal distillery. He also faces fines of up to $250,000 and as many as three years of post-release supervision, the Sun Herald reported.

Necaise’s sentencing is set for Oct. 16 in federal court in Gulfport.