Many fans who watch the show, “Moonshiners” are all asking the question of what happened to Tickle and why he wasn’t a part of the cast. Richmond Times-Dispatch, Jan. 29, 2016, reported that Tickle is in trouble with the law and no, it isn’t because of moonshine. Tickle was convicted of possessing an illegal firearm.
Tickle, whose real name is Steven Ray Tickle was in the Pittsylvania County Circuit Court on a weapons charge and he was found guilty of possession or use of a sawed-off shotgun or rifle. It does not matter if Tickle used the gun or not, and they had no evidence to prove that he had ever fired the gun because it is a crime under Virginia law to have this type of weapon in possession.
Pittsylvania Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Haskins said that Tickle was initially pulled over for having a broken headlight on his black Dodge truck on July 12. However, that was just the beginning of his problems. The “Moonshiners” star was driving without a license because it was suspended. That was when Cpl. T.W. Eanes of the Pittsylvania County Sheriff’s Office noticed that Tickle had a gun inside the truck.
Cpl. T. W. Eanes said, “Mr. Tickle had a sawed off 12 gauge shotgun in the front seat of the truck. The barrel length was approximately 14 inches long. The shotgun was in plain view.”
Tickle’s lawyer, Joe Garrett said that his client was stopped on U.S. 29 and he was “an individual in a vehicle on his own property.”
Attorney Haskins said, “The deputy began the traffic stop on the highway and Tickle pulled into his own driveway.”
Many fans of the show said they were not going to watch it anymore unless they brought Tickle back on because he made the show in his colorful, flamboyant way. Tickle often helped Tim Smith make moonshine illegally, but when Tim Smith went legal, Tickle had to make the famous recipe without the help of friend and partner.
Although Tickle appeared on the “Moonshiners” Christmas special, briefly, he made his first real appearance earlier this month. He went to see his mentor and friend, Tim Smith to see if he could help in get him out of this mess. Tickle came to Tim and said, “I’ve come up here to help you.”
Even though Tim and Tickle have a history together, Tim told him, “Tickle, working here at the distillery is not going to work for us,” and that he could not hire a felon, or someone facing a felony crime to work for him. “I’d rather just loan you a little bit of money than give you a job and jeopardize my position here.”
What fine or sentencing Tickle received is unknown at this time. Whether or not The will be brought back to the show is revealed on the Discovery Channel’s bio of Tickle. “After running into some trouble with the law, everyone’s favorite moonshiner Tickle will be spending this moonshine season on the sidelines. Once his legal matters are resolved, he will return to his rightful place making moonshine in the backwoods of Virginia.”