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Roanoke Co. Moonshiner Gets Suspended Sentence

December 5, 2012

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) - A Roanoke County man convicted of making illegal whiskey has avoided jail time.

The Roanoke Times reports that 62-year-old James Ricky Lyle received a two-year suspended sentence Tuesday.

Roanoke County Circuit Court Judge James Swanson found Lyle guilty of manufacturing alcohol without a license. Swanson conducted a bench trial in September but withheld a decision until Tuesday.

In February, special agents with Virginia's Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control seized two stills, more than 200 gallons of illegal whiskey and several antique firearms from Lyle's home in the Mount Pleasant area.

Lyle's attorney, Drew Davis, told the judge that his client was only a hobbyist who was interesting in the history and making of moonshine.

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