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Alleged moonshiner in Chickasha admits his guilt


CHICKASHA, Okla. — A man accused of an unusual crime in Chickasha speaks out. This week Chickasha police caught a suspected moonshiner running a backwoods still.

On Friday the suspect accused of cooking up the “white lightning” spoke out about the allegations. It is a felony to distill any alcohol in the state without the proper permits and licenses.

While criminal charges in the case are pending, the alleged moonshiner didn’t deny what he did.

He says curiosity simply got the better of him. “I wanted to try it,” said Ryan Smith.

Watching shows like Moonshiners on the Discovery Channel, Ryan Smith came to the woods near where he worked and set up a moonshine still.

“I never intended to do anything but make it and maybe drink a little,” said Smith.

Chickasha police were called to the wooded area on Wednesday and made the odd discovery. On scene officers found two bottles of suspected moonshine whiskey and Smith admitted what he did to them.

“There was a little confusion about maybe others were involved.  It was me and me only.  I take full responsibility for it,” said Smith.

Smith admits stole supplies from the Livestock Nutrition Center where he worked as a temp and using corn yeast sugar and molasses to cook his brew.

“I wasn’t out to sell it or anything.  I sure wasn’t out to embarrass anybody,” said Smith.

Because he did embarrass himself and his family, Smith apologized to his now former employer and praised police for their work.

“I brought humiliation to the guys I worked with and my family,” said Smith.  “I am remorseful.  I do feel bad about it.  I’m not gonna downplay it at all.”

Officials with the ABLE commission say shows like Moonshiners have actually led to a rise in the number of illegal stills, but statewide the number of busts remain in the single figures each year.