Watch CBS News

Dozens Of Firearms Confiscated During Arrest Of East Bay Winemaker

MARTINEZ (CBS SF) -- Forty unregistered firearms, including assault rifles and grenade launchers, were seized when a Contra Costa County winemaker was arrested on Thursday for allegedly selling illegal drinks, according to state authorities.

California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control agents arrested Sterling Albert, 53, of Martinez, initially just on suspicion of possessing a still and selling alcoholic beverages without a license.

ABC agents had allegedly found two illegal stills at Sterling Albert Winery on 5052 Forni Drive in Concord along with more than 200 gallons of illegal distilled spirits and over 500 cases of illegally produced wine.

This was the result of an investigation that was conducted over the past few months by the ABC. The impetus for it was a complaint that rum and whiskey were being manufactured and sold under the table there, ABC officials said.

A search warrant at the Concord business yielded the stills and illegal beverages, while a later search warrant served at Albert's Martinez residence allegedly led to the discovery of 40 firearms, ABC officials said.

The weapons included a grenade launcher, fully automatic assault rifles and silencers for guns, ABC officials said. These were turned over to the California Department of Justice Bureau of Firearms Task Force.

The Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office as well as other county, state and federal agencies assisted the ABC with serving the warrants.

Albert was booked into Martinez Detention Facility on additional felony counts of possessing illegal and unregistered firearms.

© Copyright 2015 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.