‘Moonshiners’ Look For a New Spot Following Police Raid

by Amy Myers

Quitting just isn’t an option for the stars of Moonshiners even after police raided their supply in Sevierville, Tennessee. When Mike Cockrell and Jerry Benson lost their stash, they knew they needed to lay low for a while, but that certainly didn’t indicate the end of the game for them. Instead, they spent their time making perfectly legal canned goods until the fuzz was off their backs.

Anxious to return to their trade, though, the two Moonshiners were itching to check out their last location to see if police left any bottles behind. So, Cockrell and Benson loaded up into the truck and cautiously drove to the stash house.

At the time, Cockrell’s main concern was that the cops could still be waiting for the Moonshiners’ return. Perhaps hoping to lure them to the location, the officers could have left several bottles as a trap so that they could catch Cockrell and Benson unlocking the doors to the stash. But after several months with little income, the risk was worth the potential reward.

“It’s against my damn better judgment, but if it is in there, we’d have some money in our pocket,” Cockrell said before they headed out.

Fortunately, there were no officers still at their stash house, but neither were any bottles of liquor. The two quickly left the location once they had their answer and continued their more lawful operations.

Law Enforcement Visits ‘Moonshiners’ Still Location

Meanwhile, Digger Manes and his crew get a visit from officers who received a complaint about their warehouse location. While gearing up for the winter months, the Moonshiners team brought in the grain and barrels and was just about ready to add the water supply. Unfortunately, the cops knew exactly what these ingredients equated to.

“Look here guys,” the officer told the Moonshiners. “Barrels, rye, we’re real close here. And close, close gets you attention.”

The officers warned them that if necessary, they would come back down and make arrests as needed. Manes took the hint and decided it was time to move his operation out of state. So, under fellow Moonshiners star JB’s direction, the team traveled through the mountains of North Carolina to one of his early still locations with Popcorn Sutton.

After a few missed turns, Manes finally found the gravel road that lead to the rundown spot. Once JB’s feet hit the ground, he seemed to travel back 20 years and led the crew directly to the old still, far away from civilization. With how remote the area was, there was a solid chance that police would never be able to decipher their new (or rather, revisited) operation. It was also the last place that Sutton ever made liquor before his death.

“If there’s a holy grail of moonshine, it’s right here,” they said.