Legendary moonshiner Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton, 61, of Haywood County was arrested and charged with making moonshine in March 2008. He faces three charges related to the manufacture and possession of selling untaxed whiskey and one charge of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in federal prison on the firearms count and up to 5 years in prison for each of the moonshining counts. He faces up to a $250,000 fine on each count, according to the news release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee.
This government affidavit outlines how undercover government agents met with Sutton several times to buy liquor. Click here to download a PDF of the document.
On April 3, 2008, Sutton signed a plea agreement with the government. The document explains how an undercover agent bought hundreds of gallons of illegal liquor from Sutton. Click here to download a PDF of the document.
On Aug. 15, 2008, the federal government filed a sentencing memo in Sutton’s case, asking the federal judge to impose a sentence that reflects the seriousness of his crime. Click here to download a PDF of the document.
Sutton, 61, faces jail time that could add up to a life sentence. His defense attorneys have been asking friends and supporters to sign a petition which states in part: “Considering his basic nature, age and significant medical problems, we ask the court to consider leniency in sentencing Popcorn.” People from all over the region, including a few from Asheville, have signed. Click here to download a PDF document showing part of the petition.