Tales from the Morgue: Caught red handed

2012-09-13T10:15:00Z Tales from the Morgue: Caught red handedJohanna Eubank, Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
September 13, 2012 10:15 am  • 

It appears that drug smuggling is an old standard when it comes to occupations in Southern Arizona.

When one is attempting to smuggle illicit drugs into the United States, it would be best not to telegraph one's nervousness to officers of the law. All this man had to do was remain calm.

However, the law abiding citizens are better for his agitation, since the man was detained and his drugs were not distributed.

From the Arizona Daily Star, Aug. 30, 1910:

 

 

CAUGHT WITH THE GOODS IN HIS BAGGAGE
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A Man Who Is Believed to Be a Professional Smuggler Is Held in the Pima County Jail for Smuggling Opium.
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Charged with smuggling opium into the United states by the way of Naco, W. G. Tice was tried before Commissioner Richey yesterday and held to the grand jury on a bond of $2,000, which he could not execute. Consequently he is in jail.

TIce was a victim of his own nervousness. He was coming up on the train to Benson Sunday when W. H. Jones, immigration inspector at Naco boarded the same car with a China man under arrest. Tice at once became nervous in the presence of Jones and the latter became suspicious of Tice.

Finally the agitation of Tice became so pronounced that Inspector Jones deputized passengers to guard the doors of the coach and took charge of Tice. In the baggage of the suspected Inspector Jones found eight pounds of opium. Tice claims that he had paid $90 for the opium and in the United States it would have been worth $500.

In his examination before Commissioner Richey yesterday Tice did not deny purchasing the opium in Mexico and bringing it across the line, but contended that he did not know that he was committing an offense. When he was held to the federal grand jury and his bail fixed at $2,000 he realized the seriousness of his situation.

It is the belief of the officials that Tice is a professional smuggler. They think he was bound for San Francisco with the opium. However it is possible that he intended to peddle it out among the Chinese of Benson and Tucson.

 

The Morgue Lady believes smugglers are still caught by their behavior, but dogs are more often involved now. It is an unsavory occupation. Wouldn't you agree?

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

About this blog

"Tales from the Morgue" is a way for the Star to share stories from the treasure trove of information held in its old files.

Johanna Eubank, aka the Morgue Lady, was a research assistant in the Star Library — also known as News and Research Services — for 18 years before becoming an online content producer. She has had her share of sneezing fits after digging into dusty old files, so she's sure to find a few old stories to re-examine.

If you have suggestions, comments or questions about this blog, e-mail jeubank@tucson.com

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