Tuesday, Sep 27, 2016
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Eviction nets moonshine still

Court bailiffs discover operation in S. Toledo garage

Eviction-nets-moonshine-still

Toledo Police Sgt. Joe Heffernan answers questions about moonshine still paraphernalia found in the garage of a South Toledo home, where Municipal Court bailiffs were executing an eviction process.

THE BLADE/ANDY MORRISON
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Bailiffs from Toledo Municipal Court made an unusual discovery Wednesday morning during a home eviction process in South Toledo.

While in the home at 4040 Greencrest Lane, bailiffs found, in the two-car garage, five 250-gallon tubs used in a moonshine-making operation.

The resident, who was not at the house, has not been charged. An investigation continues, police Sgt. Joe Heffernan said.

Police confiscated 2 1/2 gallons of the finished product, he said.

Bailiffs arrived at the house Wednesday to start the eviction process in which personal belongings are removed from the house, Toledo Municipal Housing Court Judge C. Allen McConnell said.

The house, Judge McConnell said, had moved into foreclosure.

Police who arrived on scene to assist the court officials called the Toledo Fire Department's HAZMAT crew to make sure nothing hazardous or combustible was inside, Sergeant Heffernan said.

"There are a lot of situations that, if you let your guard down, become very dangerous and either fatal or involve injury," Toledo fire Lt. Matthew Hertzfeld said.

The operation didn't look like a typical eviction, the Lieutenant Hertfeld added.

The HAZMAT crew also tested "to determine if there were any hazardous chemicals in there."

HAZMAT was at the property from about 11:15 a.m. until about 1 p.m.

Employees of the city Environmental Services office were also at the house, although Sergeant Heffernan said everything "appeared benign."

The house's occupant used a water heater as part of the operation, which sent vapors into an attached pipe, creating condensation and eventually filling blue plastic jugs with the alcohol mixture, authorities said.

The floor of the garage was littered with empty bags of sugar and corn, both used in making the alcohol, authorities said.

With the exception of the confiscated alcohol, the rest of the property -- the items in the garage and the large pile of personal belongings on the front lawn -- will have to be cleaned up by the property owner, he said.

It's unclear how long the resident lived in the house.

The property is owned by the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., more commonly known as Freddie Mac, according to the Lucas County Auditor's Web site.

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