Look Back: What happened to confiscated barrels of alcohol in 1922?_freckle removal recipes

Ed Lewis, The Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.·3 min read

Mar. 13—A Wilkes-Barre policeman confiscated eight barrels of alcohol valued at $50,000 from a delivery truck at North Washington and Pennsylvania Avenue on Feb. 15, 1922.

Within hours of the delivery truck and barrels being stored at the city police station, they went missing.

What followed was deemed by the public a "cover up." Many believed high ranking city officials, including law enforcement, took their share of the alcohol home.

The confiscation took place during the early years of the Volstead Act, known as Prohibition, a federal law that prohibited intoxicating beverages with an alcohol level greater than .5 percent from being consumed.

Prohibition agents were hired to seek and destroy alcohol.

In early 1922, several barrels marked "olive oil" were found to be filled with alcohol at a warehouse in Pittston.

When the policeman confiscated eight barrels of alcohol from the delivery truck, they were taken to the city police station.

"The alcohol disappeared sometime after 4 o'clock yesterday morning, no report of its seizure being made to Mayor Daniel L. Hart or Chief of Police Michael Brown, according to their statements," the Wilkes-Barre Record reported Feb. 16, 1922.

Questions were asked. No one knew anything.

"From Mayor Hart down through the ranks to the patrolmen, when questioned about the reported seizure of the alcohol, all on duty last night stated something to this effect: Alcohol? There was no alcohol in this place last night and none was seized as far as I know," the Record reported.

Police reports and an inventory list were made of the seizure.

Police Sgt. Walter Thomas filed a report indicating the deliver truck with its cargo of eight barrels of alcohol was parked at police headquarters. After Thomas went off duty, the barrels of alcohol vanished. So did Thomas' report.

"When called early this morning Mayor Hart stated he knew positively nothing of the seizure of any alcohol and further stated he had not ordered the release of any," the Record reported.

(editor:)

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