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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Tennessee

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

East Tennessee Moonshiners Sentenced

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – Jack Mayfield, Jr., 49, of Newport, Tenn., and James Carrol Hickman, 41, of Dandridge, Tenn., have each been convicted and sentenced for aiding and abetting in the illegal production of distilled spirits by a person who was not an authorized distiller (illegal production of “moonshine”).

In October 2014, Mayfield pleaded guilty to the moonshining charge and two counts of possessing a machine gun.  On April 2, 2015, he was sentenced to serve 33 months in federal prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release.

Hickman was convicted in December 2014 following a two-day jury trial.  On Apr. 21, 2015, Hickman was sentenced to serve 33 months in federal prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release.  There is no parole in the federal system.

According to evidence presented at Hickman’s trial and during Mayfield’s sentencing hearing, Mayfield owned and operated a large-scale illegal moonshine production operation in the Carson Springs area of Cocke County.  The operation included over fifteen, 400-gallon moonshine stills housed in two separate buildings, and a separate proofing room where the moonshine was processed into a finished product and packaged for sale.  Mayfield employed numerous people to work at the operation, including co-defendants Hickman and Michael Steve Reece.  In his plea agreement, Mayfield admitted that he had produced illegal moonshine at the site from at least January 2003 until a search warrant was executed at the property in April  2013.

Reece, who was also charged in this case, pleaded guilty in November 7, 2013. His sentencing is scheduled for May 19, 2015.

This investigation was the result of the collaborative efforts of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission, Tennessee Highway Patrol, and Cocke County Sheriff’s Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Suzanne Kerney-Quillen and J. Christian Lampe represented the United States.


Updated February 4, 2016