Moonshine maestro gets 18 months
GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – A federal judge sentenced Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton to 18 months in prison on moonshining and weapons charges Monday, rejecting arguments that Sutton deserved a sentence of probation because he had reformed and was too ill to serve prison time.
But Ronnie Greer, U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Tennessee, ruled that Sutton deserved prison time and was healthy enough to serve it.
“A probationary sentence would do absolutely nothing to deter you from further crimes,” Greer said. “To do so would send a message that this court will tolerate repeated violations of the law. To do so would promote disrespect for the law.”
Sutton, who has had several felony convictions dating back to the 1970s, was arrested in March at his home in Parrottsville, Tenn., and accused of running a moonshining operation that produced hundreds of gallons of liquor.
He pleaded guilty in April to charges of illegal production of distilled spirits and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon.
Sutton was sentenced to 18 months in prison on each charge, with the sentences to be served concurrently.
It’s good to know Uncle Sam is on top of the War on Moonshine.
Btw, I’ve never understood concurrent sentences – it seems like a “buy one, get one free” sale.