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Brothers charged with making moonshine

Saturday - 2/12/2011, 1:57pm  ET

Still (Courtesy of Virginia ABC)
Here is one of the stills agents found. (Courtesy of Virginia ABC)
Michelle Basch, wtop.com

WOODBRIDGE, Va. - Two brothers are charged with making moonshine in our area, and you might not believe how they were caught.

Investigators say the men advertised a moonshine-making still for sale on the Internet.

Agents with the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control came across the ad on Craigslist. An undercover agent arranged to meet the seller in Stafford County. The agent bought the still, and the seller - one of the brothers - was arrested.

At the same time, agents executed a search warrant at the brothers' home in Woodbridge. There they found a second still, a bunch of moonshine, as well as some marijuana and a handgun.

The moonshine the men had apparently been making was 196 proof. That's a whopping 98 percent alcohol by volume.

The charges against Joseph Chraska, 23, and Lee Chraska, 26, include illegal manufacturing of alcohol, which is a felony in Virginia. In addition, Joseph Chraska is charged with manufacturing of alcohol while armed, and marijuana possession. Additional charges against Lee Chraska are possession of untaxed alcohol, and possession of distilling apparatus.

If convicted, Joseph Chraska faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, while his brother faces up to seven years. Both have been released on bond.

(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)