Newport News man charged with illegally making wine for third time

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WVEC.com

Posted on April 30, 2012 at 7:50 AM

Updated Monday, Apr 30 at 5:21 PM

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NEWPORT NEWS -- An 83-year-old Newport News man is charged again with illegally making wine and selling it in his home.

James Edward Skinner was arrested Friday, along with his 41-year-old grandson Darrin Skinner, at the home on 15th Street.

Special agents with the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control say they seized 600 gallons of wine he made in his garage and shed and sold for $7.00 to $8.00 per half gallon.

Agents say it's legal to make your own wine in Virginia, but on such a large scale and as a selling operation, it becomes a nuisance to the neighborhood, can be a safety risk to the consumer, and leads to a loss of tax revenue for the state.

The two are charged with three counts of illegal sale of alcoholic beverages without a license, and three counts of keeping/maintaining a common nuisance. Skinner also is charged with the felony illegal manufacture of alcoholic beverages.

Skinner has been convicted one time and is awaiting trial for the arrest last year when agents say they took more than 670 gallons of wine from his home.

Newport News Police and Virginia Marine Police also assisted in the investigation.

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