Friday, May 13, 2011

Customs Stories III: Opium Smugglers


Smuggling contraband is a long tradition along borders, including the border area around St. Vincent...

Bold Opium Smugglers

Confiscated Opium...
St. Paul, Minn, Dec. 20, 1888 - A gang of daring smugglers has been engaged for some time in bringing opium into this state across the Northwestern border. The deputy collector at St. Vincent, Minn., acting on information from one of the gang who is under arrest, captured a wagon containing eight hundred pounds of the drug in the crude form just on the Dakota line. Detectives are in pursuit of the man to whom the opium was consigned. Opium smuggling on the extensive scale is being carried on, and such are the precautions against detections that it is almost impossible to stop it.

From: The Ithaca Democrat (December 1888)
Good thing, then, that Deputy Collector Nelson E. Nelson was on the job!