Randall Leece Deal of Clayton, Ga., who has worked at the Rabun County Sheriff's Department for the last 16 years, was convicted back in the early 1960s on two counts of violating liquor laws and one count of conspiring to violate liquor laws, CNN reported Saturday.
The crimes are more commonly known in the South as "moonshining."
Deal's conviction didn't cost him any jail time, but the record rankled him enough to seek a presidential pardon after more than four decades. "I just got to thinking about it, you know. Just to get her wiped out if possible," he told CNN.
Deal, who has never donated any money to a political candidate or party, hired a local attorney and "just filled out the papers and sent it in to the White House, or wherever you send them to, a good long time ago."
The Justice Department announced Deal's pardon on Wednesday. "I really didn't have an idea what kind of a deal it would be," he said. "But evidently it's a pretty big old deal to get one."
CNN noted he was not among the small gang of sadistic locals who stalk the stars on their deadly canoe trip.