A Philipsburg man accused of producing and selling wine out of his basement waived his right to a preliminary hearing before Magisterial District Judge Jerome Nevling yesterday at Centralized Court held at the Clearfield County Jail.
Charles David Little, 56, of Philipsburg is charged with unlawful sales of liquor and fail, wineries/distilleries, to get a license, all of which are ungraded misdemeanors.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, the state police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement – Punxsutawney Barracks, received reports that Little and his girlfriend were selling thousands of dollars worth of homemade wine that he makes in his basement — and were selling the wine to multiple businesses and individuals in Clearfield and Centre counties.
On Aug. 3 and Oct. 27, undercover agents went to Little’s residence at 453 New Liberty Rd. in Philipsburg, Decatur Township and purchased four bottles of wine on each trip, eight total, at a price of $5 per bottle. He gave them a number to call if they wanted to buy more and told them to save the number as “Uncle Charles Winery.”
While at the residence, the agents also observed various wine making equipment and fermentation tanks and a large volume of bottled wine.
On Aug. 28, the state police served a search warrant on the property and seized 367 bottles of homemade wine and wine making equipment.
When interviewed, Little said he has been making wine since 1995 but didn’t keep any records of his production.
State police checked PLCB records and determined Little never had a license to manufacture or sell wine.
Little is free on $10,000 unsecured bail. He is represented by attorney Dan Nelson of Philipsburg. The commonwealth was represented by Assistant District Attorney Warren Mikesell.