An East Bay man was apparently channeling Al Capone, as a tip to agents of the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) led not only to the discovery yesterday of an illegal still and 200 gallons of spirits, but 40 illegal and unregistered firearms ranging from assault rifles to a grenade launcher.
In a statement detailing the raid, the ABC notes that the suspect, 53-year-old Sterling Hartwell Albert of Martinez, was arrested on multiple felony charges.
"In recent months, ABC had been investigating a storefront located at 5052 Forni Drive, Suite C in Concord after receiving a complaint that distilled spirits (rum and whisky) were being manufactured and sold illegally at the property," reads the ABC statement. "ABC Agents conducted an undercover investigation and obtained search warrants for both the business and the suspect’s residence."
When they searched Albert's home, however, agents discovered a lot more than just illegally manufactured booze.
"At the residence, ABC found multiple illegal firearms including a grenade launcher, fully-automatic assault rifles and silencers."
Which: a grenade launcher? What?
The official ABC statement helpfully reminds us that "[illegal] stills are potentially explosive," and that a "distilled spirit made illegally may also not be safe to consume."
You know what else isn't that safe? Middle-aged men armed to the teeth for a civil war of their own design.