Winery owner convicted of misdemeanor, gets a suspended sentence and probation

The owner of the Huckleberry Hill Winery in rural Bloomfield and the Huckleberry Hideout Restaurant and Winery in Linton, who was charged with a felony and four misdemeanors involving making and selling alcoholic beverages, recently pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor and was sentenced.

Cheryl Riddle

Cheryl Riddle

Cheryl Ann Riddle, now 54, Linton, was arrested last August on a warrant issued as a result of an ongoing investigation by Indiana State Excise Police. Her bond was set at $4,000 surety with ten percent cash allowed. She posted $400 cash and was released on bond to await trial or the conclusion of her case.

She was charged with five counts including:

  • Maintaining a common nuisance involving alcohol, a Level 6 felony,

  • Possession of untaxed beverages, a Class C misdemeanor,

  • Sale of alcoholic beverages without a permit, a Class B misdemeanor,

  • Unauthorized furnishing of an alcoholic beverage, a Class B misdemeanor, and

  • Making alcoholic beverages without a permit, a Class C misdemeanor.

Indiana State Excise Police alleged that Riddle did not obtain or even apply for the permits required by state law to sell alcohol and that she was unlawfully acting as a winery and was manufacturing wine inside the Linton location. The businesses had been under investigation since mid-May of 2018.

In early February, Riddle entered into a negotiated plea agreement and a change of plea and sentencing hearing was scheduled for February 28.

During the hearing, Riddle pleaded guilty to the fourth count, unauthorized furnishing of an alcoholic beverage, a Class B misdemeanor. In keeping with the terms of the plea agreement, which was accepted by the court, the other four counts were dismissed.

Riddle was sentenced to 180 days in the Greene County Jail with all of it suspended. She will be on unsupervised probation for one year and must pay fines and costs.

To find other stories involving Cheryl Riddle and this case, click the tag “Cheryl Riddle” below this story.

[Editor’s Note: Catching Up… This case came to a conclusion during the time I was in the hospital or unable to post due to medical issues. Since I had covered this case with multiple posts, it’s appropriate to follow-up with the conclusion even though late.]