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Distillery | Web Update

Distillery found in University Forest Apartments

Published: October 3, 2013, 12:40 am ET
Managing Editor

Campus police found a student in a University Forest Apartment running an illegal distillery to make “moonshine,” according to a police report.

Police entered a 1300-block apartment on Sept. 19 and found equipment for running the distillery that had been stolen from the Gottwald Science Center, assistant police chief Beth Simonds said. They also found illegally produced liquor. Police cited the student for theft and liquor law violations.

Moonshine refers to high-proof distilled spirits that were popular during Prohibition in the 1920s and 30s. The alcohol content of moonshine can vary but can be as strong as 125 proof, according to a Southern Living magazine article about the best legal moonshine.

Virginia law says that distillery operators must possess a license. It is legal to make small quantities of beer and wine for personal consumption, when the producers are of age, but not moonshine. It is illegal to possess distilleries or a distilling apparatus without a permit, according to Virginia code.

To create the distillery, the University of Richmond student stole glass containers and rubber tubing from Gottwald Science Center, police said.

Several campus police officers and unidentified investigators were seen carrying these items out of the apartment Thursday, Sept. 19, around 4:30 p.m.

Neighbors of the apartment said that members of the Richmond College dean’s office had been visiting the 1300 apartment block that day, making their semiannual fire safety inspections. When the inspectors saw the distillery apparatus, they contacted campus police, and when residents arrived, they granted the police entrance.

There are no criminal charges, and the incident has been referred to the dean’s office, Simonds said.

Editors note: Previous reporting that more than one student may have been involved was found to be incorrect and has been changed.

Contact staff writer at Kylie McKenna at kylie.mckenna@richmond.edu

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  • Ramon A. Cardona

    Mr. White, apparently you would perhaps feel differently if this moonshine had killed a family member or poisoned you to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars of medical bills? Since I presume you to be a student, how about a destroy semester or two? Then again, you could not possibly be a college student due to your grammar being so substandard and I am being polite as to grammar.

    • Functioning Frontal Lobe

      Excuse me, sir, but you made yourself sound awfully stupid here. Walter White is a character in the show “Breaking Bad” who makes meth. I assume you’re not to a college student/grad judged on how hasty you made your response. Additionally, you might want to use a comma or semicolon in your last sentence to break up “substandard” and “and.”

    • jesse pinkman

      lol wut

  • Hayes Gouger

    another fraternity member gets off the hook. sort of reminds me of how the government let the politicians and the wall street white collars off the hook and gave them a bailout. no criminal charges even though he stole equipment from the science building? the institution protects its own once again.

  • Hayes Gouger

    i wonder what would happen in the real world? if someone who didnt have the privilege of going to UR was caught doing the same thing? would there be criminal charges? i think so. way to prepare these kids for the real world, university of richmond. by letting them off the hook youre only enabling and apologizing their bad behavior. a lot of these kids will grow up to be the ones in power. the businessmen and some politicians.

  • Hayes Gouger

    and this article isn’t front page news on the collegian? its not even on the collegians facebook page yet. ill share this story with all the alumni i know. also shared it on the anonymous million mask march facebook wall, which has an audience of over ten thousand. this story was big enough to attract national attention with usa today. embarrassment. collegian headline should read “future business leader of america gets off the hook”. bad institutions

  • Hayes Gouger

    i wonder what would happen in the real world? if someone who didnt have the privilege of going to UR was caught doing the same thing? would there be criminal charges? i think so. way to prepare these kids for the real world, university of richmond. by letting them off the hook youre only enabling and apologizing their bad behavior. a lot of these kids will grow up to be the ones in power. the businessmen and some politicians.

  • LaDennifer Jadaniston

    Richmond is a farce of an educational institution. Preparing rich, entitled wannabe affluent rednecks for serving you at Chili’s. Way to go guys, well done. The world needs more jerks like you!

  • Anonymous

    The student cooperated with police and accepted responsibility for his actions. He was unaware distilling moonshine is illegal in VA and is not using that as an acceptable excuse. This was a first time offense and he is in good academic standing with the University. Without the intent to distribute, they let him off with a slap on the wrist instead of potentially ruining his life.