Letter from dept of the treasury

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Letter from dept of the treasury

Postby jebar77 » Mon Jun 23, 2014 2:37 pm

Got a letter in the mail today... Notice of potential civil and criminal liability...and a tv press release from March about busts in Florida and how dis tilling at home is not a legal hobby. I'm assuming I got this cause of the milk poti bought from mile high distilling website.... Anyone else get anything for them.... I only got the milk pot and cover and it's used primarily for brewing beer now. Any thoughts
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Re: Letter from dept of the treasury

Postby ga flatwoods » Mon Jun 23, 2014 2:49 pm

:esurprised: :wtf: :sick: :think: shame this has to happen. SAM can be a greedy bastard. Still better than most places though.
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Re: Letter from dept of the treasury

Postby bearriver » Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:00 pm

BYOB. Build your own boiler... I'd bet these letters scare away many would be home distillers.

Stories like this are becoming more and more prevalent. Troublesome indeed...
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Re: Letter from dept of the treasury

Postby rad14701 » Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:06 pm

Time to buy a cow - or a goat...!!!
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Re: Letter from dept of the treasury

Postby T_Rider » Wed Jul 02, 2014 4:52 pm

I received the same letter today. Thinking I should put all materials in hiding for awhile (i.e. Forever)

Oh well it was fun while it lasted. :-(
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Re: Letter from dept of the treasury

Postby jebar77 » Wed Jul 02, 2014 5:42 pm

Ya is wicked shitty.... I'm assuming they wouldn't have sent letters if they were gonna bust us, but I'm not taking chances either
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Re: Letter from dept of the treasury

Postby The KYChemist » Wed Jul 02, 2014 6:26 pm

With what seems to be a plethora of letters, to those that seem to have bought a numbered still, why are the rest of us not worried? This appears to be the shot over the bow. With the ability of the gov't to find anyone they want, drone assisted or not, there seems to be a lax attitude.
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Re: Letter from dept of the treasury

Postby BigSwede » Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:18 am

Quick thoughts... If you are of the more paranoid persuasion, here is whatcha do, IMO.

First cease operation... For now. Consume all untaxed spirits, and do not allow any in your home.

Next, determine if the simple possession of a distillation apparatus in your state is legal. If it is, you should be fine, proudly display your work in your living room. Just don't distill. If illegal, take it apart, and determine just how far you want to go to either hide it, or maybe store it? With a very trusted friend not on any lists.

Then wait. These letters are either scare tactics, or they are getting ready to move on folk. But consider this... Does the DEA send warning letters to suspected meth dealers saying "We think you cook and sell meth. It is illegal, fines, jail, blah blah." Nooo, they tend to not warn the people they are about to bust and send to the pokey.

I think they are trying to scare people into ceasing operations, myself.

We need to wait this out. I am going to get a few 5 gallon jerry cans, fill them with distilled water, put em by my rig. "That is what it is for, officer. I am a prepper. Who knows when our water supply may become tainted, or worse poisoned by terrorists."

Stay cool, folks.
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Re: Letter from dept of the treasury

Postby Doogie » Thu Jul 10, 2014 2:47 pm

You make a good point ... and it leads to another point.

Is there not a statute of limitations of like 2 years ... in other words, if they find info that you have a still, they have 2 years to prosecute the information? After 2 years, they are screwed?

Point is - say the TTB gets info from a builder ... and sits on it for 3 years, then goes to your house, you tell them to get a warrant, then they get one (easy) and come into your house and find the still - is the warrant not invalid since they waited so long to act on the info?

If so, then keep the letters, and the envelopes with postmarks on it for evidence. Hide off property your still for 2 years. If they come, tell them to get a warrant on probable cause, then rely on the statute for dismissal.
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Re: Letter from dept of the treasury

Postby rad14701 » Thu Jul 10, 2014 2:51 pm

Doogie, the simple answer is "No!"... There is no statute of limitations on found evidence... At least not that I am aware of... There are only limits on bringing formal charges after an arrest... Any government agency can amass evidence for as long as it wants before getting a warrant or making an arrest... They do it with drug dealers, those committing fraud, etc, all the time...
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Re: Letter from dept of the treasury

Postby Doogie » Thu Jul 10, 2014 3:21 pm

rad14701 wrote:Doogie, the simple answer is "No!"... There is no statute of limitations on found evidence... At least not that I am aware of... There are only limits on bringing formal charges after an arrest... Any government agency can amass evidence for as long as it wants before getting a warrant or making an arrest... They do it with drug dealers, those committing fraud, etc, all the time...

oh ... well then ... ouch ...

I guess ... well ... relocate it ... scrap it ... dunno ... wow ...
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Re: Letter from dept of the treasury

Postby BigSwede » Thu Jul 10, 2014 3:29 pm

There are only limits on bringing formal charges after an arrest...


Rad, I may be misunderstanding you, but statute of limitations applies to the time between when the crime was committed, and when the police discover it, or maybe formally charge you.

For example, let's say the statute of limitations for misdemeanor shoplifting is 5 years - don't know what it really is, but it's an example. It's 1975, and me, a kid, steals a candy bar from the five and dime. It's now 2014, I loudly announce to the world, and to the police, "In 1975, I was a shoplifter and stole a Milky Way bar." The S of L has expired, and even if they wanted to, I cannot be prosecuted.

Some crimes like murder have no S of L, but most do. No idea what it is with moonshining.

If I'm wrong, or misunderstanding what you are saying, glad to be corrected. I just wish this thread and other TTB threads didn't exist.
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Re: Letter from dept of the treasury

Postby Soggy Bottom Boy » Thu Jul 10, 2014 5:04 pm

Statute of limitations for tax evasion is typically 3 years from date of offence, and can be up to six years under certain circumstances and offences.

Say they suspect that your did not pay the excise taxes on manufactured liquor in Jan 2012, then 2 years and 11 months later they show up and question you about that event, and you lie to them about it in a statement to them. If they can prove that you lied about it within the next 3 years, you are still on the hook for the original non-payment/evasion of said taxes.
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Re: Letter from dept of the treasury

Postby BigSwede » Thu Jul 10, 2014 6:08 pm

^^ Correct, something like, if they suspect you of a crime and begin gathering evidence within the statute of limitations, then it gets extended.

Hell I'm no lawyer, point is, they can't "get you" for most minor crimes after a period of time, even if you openly admit it.

This is why so many people, including (ahem) certain high politicians, freely admit to doing dope when younger. They can't be touched for it.
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Re: Letter from dept of the treasury

Postby rad14701 » Fri Jul 11, 2014 4:53 am

Ok, so here's the rub...

Let's look at what could happen if the TTB were to learn that someone in Florida purchased and received a still... From the TTB's perspective, nothing illegal has been done, but from the state of Florida's point of view a law was broken... Whether there is a statute of limitation on that or not, I am not certain... However, the TTB could launch an ongoing investigation based on that purchase and that could go on for weeks, months, or even years... An investigation could also be started at the state, county, or local level... Whether it would it be worth the time, effort, and expense would depend on what preliminary evidence they can come up with...

Perhaps someone from the legal profession could provide a more in depth explanation...
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Re: Letter from dept of the treasury

Postby BoomTown » Fri Jul 11, 2014 6:23 am

Sorry to be so confused. But would someone be willing to share the language in the letter they received?

I live in USA, but did not get said letter. I rather prefer to worry about what is said, rather that what may have been said.

Thanks

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Re: Letter from dept of the treasury

Postby still_stirrin » Fri Jul 11, 2014 6:53 am

BoomTown wrote:Sorry to be so confused. But would someone be willing to share the language in the letter they received?

I live in USA, but did not get said letter. I rather prefer to worry about what is said, rather that what may have been said.

Thanks

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Re: Letter from dept of the treasury

Postby BoomTown » Fri Jul 11, 2014 7:08 am

still_stirrin wrote:
BoomTown wrote:Sorry to be so confused. But would someone be willing to share the language in the letter they received?

I live in USA, but did not get said letter. I rather prefer to worry about what is said, rather that what may have been said.

Thanks

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Boomtown, simply read the threads in this forum.


OK, I got it. Has anyone actually asked the TTB what's going on? Maybe by asking an elected member of Congress to seek an explanation for why the letters are being sent?

Such a question might be asked of a member of our House Of Representatives from a state where Stills are being manufactured and sold, with justification being that the constituents jobs are in jeopardy if the campaign of intimidation is continued.

Such a question from a member of Congress and a federal agency is required to have a response prepared for the Congress person.

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Re: Letter from dept of the treasury

Postby John Barleycorn » Fri Jul 11, 2014 7:38 am

BoomTown wrote:Has anyone actually asked the TTB what's going on?

See: http://www.hobbydistillersassociation.org/?p=349
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Re: Letter from dept of the treasury

Postby Grey_Meadow » Fri Jul 11, 2014 7:52 am

Check out this link

http://www.hobbydistillersassociation.org/

and search this forum for TTB. Lots of information include the actual text of the letter and the Florida News release

A quick Google Search of HD site:http://homedistiller.org/forum TTB letter

viewtopic.php?f=27&t=49657
viewtopic.php?f=90&t=49674
viewtopic.php?f=49&t=49561
there is more.
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Re: Letter from dept of the treasury

Postby Soggy Bottom Boy » Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:56 am

rad14701 wrote:Ok, so here's the rub...

Let's look at what could happen if the TTB were to learn that someone in Florida purchased and received a still... From the TTB's perspective, nothing illegal has been done, but from the state of Florida's point of view a law was broken... Whether there is a statute of limitation on that or not, I am not certain... However, the TTB could launch an ongoing investigation based on that purchase and that could go on for weeks, months, or even years... An investigation could also be started at the state, county, or local level... Whether it would it be worth the time, effort, and expense would depend on what preliminary evidence they can come up with...

...and what happened in Florida? The Feds and the State got together and combined their powers and info to go after people that, A: Bought a still head/column, boiler, or product condenser from a commercial seller, ....and B: Lived in a State where possession of a stilling apparatus is illegal. BOOM!

I don't think it was arbitrary that the TTB initially requested/demanded from the manufacturers and resellers of those items, the info of the buyers going back 3 years. Statute of Limitations 3 years, demanded list going back 3 years, ...you(collectively, not just you in particular, rad) figure it out. Not a coincidence in my opinion, as they would not be able to pursue anything older and still have a chance to extend another 3 years if the questioned "perpetrator" lied to them about some aspect of a possible investigation, and go for some kind of punitive enforcement of their antiquated, BS laws.

It is my opinion (I know, I know, opinions are like assholes, ...everybody has one), that in States where it is not illegal to own a still outright, there will be no such collusion of Feds and State to go after those who bought from commercial outfits. They would not be able to get warrants without some other additional compelling evidence that a law was being broken.

It is also my opinion that the TTB is simply leveraging their results in Florida in a low cost effort to scare people out of the hobby. The fact that they include a copy of the Florida press release about bust info in their "We know you got a still, ...and, see, we have big, bad, nasty, teeth!" letter to buyers is, to me, an obvious attempt to buffalo and bamboozle folks into re-evaluating risk and getting rid of their stilling equipment and quit distilling alcohol.

That said, those folks that did buy from an outfit that was required to report to the TTB, might be wise to suspend operations and store equipment in broken-down configuration at different locations, drink up their stores of hooch, and adopt a wait-and-see posture until this whole deal shakes out for a good long while. Maybe find a nice secure hidey-hole for the offending pieces, use fermenters, boilers, and controllers and switch to beer and wine production, and drink store bought (GAK!!) spirits.

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Re: Letter from dept of the treasury

Postby Doogie » Fri Jul 11, 2014 2:12 pm

I fully agree Soggy - it is a pure leverage attempt - low cost, makes them look like they are doing something for their paycheck

No doubt a percentage have called the TTB and said "WTF" and "OK I will stop" or something along those lines - there are always those in a group - this feeds on the results tally ... further justifying.

Then no doubt soon enough they will raid another area, boasting about it, sending letters again, to those they previously informed, and those new purchasers they will have gleened from the databases of the builders.

Sadly, and unfortunately, it is a great make work and job security project for the TTB and assisting law enforcement departments
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Re: Letter from dept of the treasury

Postby BigSwede » Sun Jul 13, 2014 5:41 am

As that other site says, if you got one of the letters, especially if you bought a full still setup from one of the dealers, I'd pursue the fuel alcohol license. Yes it's a PITA, subjects you to scrutiny, but here's the deal... you are ALREADY on a list, subject to scrutiny of the really bad kind.

A fuel alcohol ticket allows you to somewhat stiff-arm any investigation. They'd then have to prove you were stilling for consumption, a lot harder to make a case rather than simply having an illegal still.

YMMV - hope I don't get a letter, but I am 98% convinced it's a scare tactic. And it's working.
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Re: Letter from dept of the treasury

Postby soulevs » Sun Aug 17, 2014 1:28 pm

rad14701 wrote:Time to buy a cow - or a goat...!!!

ROFL

I think a couple really strong points have been made here... but the most important one, to me, is from now on BUILD YOUR OWN STUFF. There's no sort of watchlists for buying copper from Home Depot that I'm aware of, and what I'm thinking is TTB is going to go for low-hanging fruit. So if you stay off their watchlists, and you don't otherwise give them any reason to think you're a stiller, they're just not going to bother with you. If anything, these letters are evidence that those who build their own are safer because it's showing the Feds are going to spend their efforts in other easier avenues...

This is, of course, on top of the other benefits of building yourself, like having a more intimate knowledge of your apparatus. Even if for whatever reason you can't build one, in my opinion you're better off going to local places and having stuff welded/assembled that way. Just go to a few different places so no one has a full idea what you're doing.
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Re: Letter from dept of the treasury

Postby shadylane » Sun Aug 17, 2014 2:26 pm

As a side note, the TTB may want more fuel alcohol permits, for political reasons.
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Re: Letter from dept of the treasury

Postby Taaser » Thu Aug 21, 2014 8:49 pm

If a person was to get an AFP does the out building you run your still in have to be a separate outbuilding then where its stored? SO one would need Residence, detached garage, and another outbuilding? Or do you just need 1 outbuilding for both still and fuel storage?
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Re: Letter from dept of the treasury

Postby Mudflats » Thu Oct 27, 2016 6:02 pm

A seperate out building is probably necessary...I doubt they's allow it in your residence...that said, how would they know unless they came to inspect your (ahummm) facilities ?

The whole scenerio is kinda scary, nonetheless, has anyone had a "follow through" with any of these threatening letters ?

And above that, has anyone done anything about those who seem to be reporting these boiler sales to the feds ?

Just sayin.....there is major difs state to state, and I want to know is any of these letter recipients have ever had fed visitors ?
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Re: Letter from dept of the treasury

Postby cranky » Thu Oct 27, 2016 6:38 pm

Mudflats wrote:
The whole scenerio is kinda scary, nonetheless, has anyone had a "follow through" with any of these threatening letters ?

And above that, has anyone done anything about those who seem to be reporting these boiler sales to the feds ?

Just sayin.....there is major difs state to state, and I want to know is any of these letter recipients have ever had fed visitors ?

Short answer, Yes there have been visits and arrests. Long answer, read these threads for all the details.
http://ww.homedistiller.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=90

Sellers are required to keep certain records and turn them over if the TTB requests, a couple years ago they requested and got very overwhelmed. Currently they are no longer requesting records but could at any time but their current stance is they are too short handed to go running around trying to catch someone distilling for personal use. There is also a bill trying to legalize home distilling.
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Re: Letter from dept of the treasury

Postby BoomTown » Sat Nov 12, 2016 8:38 am

Taaser wrote:If a person was to get an AFP does the out building you run your still in have to be a separate outbuilding then where its stored? SO one would need Residence, detached garage, and another outbuilding? Or do you just need 1 outbuilding for both still and fuel storage?


yes, that is part of the requirement for TTB, and the building cannot be used for a residence at the same time as the permit is in effect.
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Re: Letter from dept of the treasury

Postby Mudflats » Sat Nov 12, 2016 5:28 pm

Mudflats wrote:A seperate out building is probably necessary...I doubt they's allow it in your residence...that said, how would they know unless they came to inspect your (ahummm) facilities ?

The whole scenerio is kinda scary, nonetheless, has anyone had a "follow through" with any of these threatening letters ?

And above that, has anyone done anything about those who seem to be reporting these boiler sales to the feds ?

Just sayin.....there is major difs state to state, and I want to know is any of these letter recipients have ever had fed visitors ?



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