2 Replies Latest reply on Mar 14, 2019 10:25 AM by Douglas Bicknese

    Where can I find the report about a prohibition arrest?

    Kristin Long Newbie

      I'm researching someone who was arrested in February, 1921, in Manhattan Beach, CA, for running a blind pig out of his basement.  Where can I find the arrest report/record, if it actually is available anywhere?

        • Re: Where can I find the report about a prohibition arrest?
          Alex Champion Scout

          Hello Ms. Long,


          Thank you for submitting your question to History Hub. One place to look is Record Group (RG) 60 -- General Records of the Department of Justice, 1790-2002. Under Class 23 (Liquor Violations), there are Litigation Case Files, 1910-1970, a series that consists of prosecutions under the Federal Alcohol Administration Act. You can research these records yourself at our facility in College Park, Maryland or submit your question to the reference branch at archives2reference@nara.gov. A similar question was asked last year and goes into more detail albeit from the smuggling side. Another possible source would be the National Archives’ Federal Records Center based in the Bay Area, which has other Department of Justice Records.


          Since states and localities often had their own prohibition laws and your subject was serving alcohol rather than running it, it may also be prudent to check the California State Archives or local newspapers. Ancestry.com, a subscription service often available for free in libraries or historical societies, has several digitized, southern California keyword searchable newspapers. It’s possible your subject’s arrest was reported.


          Thanks again for submitting your question to History Hub! If you find something, don’t hesitate to tell us about it.

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            • Re: Where can I find the report about a prohibition arrest?

              Building on Alex Champion's response.  If charges were made against the suspect, there probably is a criminal case file in Record Group 21, Records of the District Courts of the United States (Presumably in the Los Angeles court?), these would be at the National Archives facility in Riverside.  Details of the arrest can sometimes be found in the U.S. Commissioner Case Files or U.S. Commissioner Dockets as well.  Those records do not exist for all courts, and are often organized by the commissioner the suspect appeared before.  We have had prohibition researchers use those records to fill out details about incidents reported in the newspapers, but for whatever reason, the U.S. Attorney never opened a criminal case. 

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