San Francisco History

Rum Runners


Twenty-Six Cases Seized as They Are Being Transferred Through Streets in Auto.

That rum runners are outside the Golden Gate ready to replenish San Francisco's supply of liquor for the holiday season, was confirmed yesterday when Federal prohibition agents seized a large touring car loaded with twenty-six cases of whiskey.

Marks on the cases showed that they had been shipped from Vancouver, B. C. to Mexico. The cases were water soaked.

Eddie O'Connor, who piloted the machine, was arrested by the agents on a charge of illegally transporting liquor.

Prohibition Director Samuel F. Rutter announced yesterday that he had asked that Coast Guard cutters capture any boats carrying liquor.

Information has been received by the prohibition director that there is a ring composed of California and Seattle men which is shipping the liquor from British Columbia. The members, owning the boats used, though they are registered by Canadians so they can fly the Canadian flag.

The recent order made by the British Columbia authorities prohibiting ships under 200 tons tonnage carrying liquor has not worked a great hardship on the bootleg ring, according to Rutter.

Liquor is shipped on larger craft presumably for Mexico. Smaller ships that were formerly used as rum runners precede the larger ships. The cargo is transferred on the high seas, some going to Seattle, other of the smaller ships anchoring at the three-mile limit off San Francisco and others going south.

The liquor is shipped in barrels and bottled on the high seas. Each ship carries a large number of labels and the bottled liquor is labeled to please the customer.

Source: San Francisco Examiner, 17 November 1923, page 3.


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