GREENE COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - A local winery owner is facing charges after investigators said she was making and selling alcohol without having permits to do so.
Indiana State Excise Police started investigating Cheryl Riddle in May. Riddle owns the Huckleberry Hill Winery. There's a main location in Bloomfield, and another location in Linton, sometimes referred to as the Huckleberry Hideout. The case focuses on the Linton location.
According to court documents, excise officers received several complaints about the Linton establishment. Excise officers said Riddle didn't have permits filed to sell or make alcohol at the Linton location. According to court documents, officers told Riddle in May to stop alcohol operations at the Linton location.
Excise police said they talked to an employee who said he had removed winery items from the Linton location, and back to Bloomfield. In June, officers received another complaint. In early July, an officer revisited the business undercover and reported potential violations. Officers said alcohol was still being sold in July.
During a visit on July 26, court documents state Riddle told officers some of the wine was made at the Linton location. She also talked about wanting to host haunted house tours for Halloween, as she said there were ghosts in the basement.
After their findings on prior visits, officers executed a search warrant at the Linton location on August 2. They reported finding large containers of fruit fermenting in a walk-in closet. They took sale records showing wine had been sold.
Officers said Riddle pivoted her story. Court documents detail conversations between officers and Riddle. On some occasions, she admitted to not having permits for the Linton location, and admitted that some alcohol was made and sold at the location. At other times, she denied any wrongdoing, acting confused about the permit process, and saying she wasn't selling nor making wine at the Linton location. According to the documents, she also told officers at one point that the wine at the Linton location was from her personal collection.
Online records show an arrest warrant was issued on August 20.
According to the court documents, Riddle does have proper permitting for her Bloomfield location.
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