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UNITED STATES v. GUDGER

April 14, 1919

UNITED STATES
v.
GUDGER



ERROR TO THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA

White, McKenna, Holmes, Day, Van Devanter, Pitney, McReynolds, Brandeis, Clarke

Author: White

[ 249 U.S. Page 373]

 MR. CHIEF JUSTICE WHITE delivered the opinion of the court.

Virginia being a State which prohibits the manufacture or sale therein of intoxicating liquors for beverage purposes, the defendant in error was indicted for having transported into that State an enumerated quantity of whisky in violation of the provision in ยง 5 of the Post Office Appropriation Act of March 3, 1917, known as the Reed Amendment. (39 Stat. 1058, 1069). For the purposes of a motion to quash, the United States Attorney furnished a bill of particulars of the evidence which the Government intended to offer to sustain the indictment, and the defendant also made admissions which were recited in such bill. The motion to quash, as elucidated

[ 249 U.S. Page 374]

     by the bill of particulars, was granted on the ground that the statute, when rightly construed, did not embrace the acts charged. The United States prosecutes error.

The case stated by the court below is this:

"That the defendant was a passenger on a railroad train from Baltimore, Maryland, to Asheville, North Carolina, and that while the train was temporarily stopped at the station at Lynchburg, Virginia, he was arrested, his baggage examined, and it was found that he had in his valise some seven quarts or more of whisky. The particulars show clearly that the evidence will be that he had no intention of leaving the train at Lynchburg or at any other point in Virginia and that his sole intention was to carry the liquor with him into the State of North Carolina to be there used as a beverage."

In addition to these facts we observe that the bill of particulars contained this recital:

"The charge in the indictment that the defendant caused to be transported liquor to Lynchburg, in the State of Virginia, has no other foundation than the fact that he was arrested while the train was stopped at the railroad station in Lynchburg, Virginia, and while he was en route to Asheville, North Carolina."

The bill stated besides, that the accused was traveling on a through ticket from Baltimore to Asheville and return.

Under this state of facts we think the court was clearly right in quashing the indictment, as we are of opinion that there is no ground for holding that the prohibition of the statute against transporting liquor in interstate commerce "into any State or Territory the laws of which State or Territory prohibit the manufacture," etc., includes the movement in interstate commerce through such a State to another. No elucidation of the text is ...


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