Abandoned moonshine still linked to Al Capone uncovered in South Carolina woods

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INTRO: Archaeologists in South Carolina have uncovered the remnants of a 1920s-era moonshine still that may have been run by one of Al Capone's criminal associates. While digging in a wooded region known as "Hell Hole Swamp" (part of South Carolina's Francis Marion National Forest) outside Charlottesville, the researchers discovered a metal barrel, a green garden hose, cinder blocks and various pieces of scrap metal, according to South Carolina's Post and Courier.

Despite their motley appearance, these artifacts are likely remnants of an illegal liquor-distilling operation run by a notorious local bootlegger and Capone associate named Benjamin Villeponteaux, said Katherine Parker, a graduate student at the University of Tennessee Knoxville who led the expedition into Hell Hole Swamp, as reported by the Post and Courier.

"As archaeological sites, defunct or busted liquor stills are often mistaken for modern trash dumps," Parker wrote on her website. "However, there are several key signatures that can be used to distinguish them." (MORE)

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