In contradiction to the government's contention, the Associates Discount Corporation, intervening claimant, urges that there can be no forfeiture under Section 3321 in view of the fact that the vehicle did not transport either untaxed liquor or contraband raw materials or implements of manufacture.
The government relies on United States v. One Ford Truck, D.C., 3 F.Supp. 283, 285.In that case the court ruled that the automobile "used by the parties unlawfully possessing and setting up the still, for their convenience in going to the place where the still was being or about to be operated * * *." was subject to condemnation under the provisions of the Willis-Campbell Act, Sec. 5, 27 U.S.C.A. § 3.
The intervening claimant cites United States v. One 1935 Model Chevrolet, D.C., 14 F.Supp. 680, 681, which was decided under R.S. Sec. 3450 (virtually identical with the present Sec. 3321). In that case, although the precise point did not arise, the court, in discussing the existing Internal Revenue law, held: "* * * The vehicle is not forfeitable unless the user thereof had concealed in it taxable articles and at the time had a fixed intent to defraud the United States. * * *"
In United States v. One Ford Truck, D.C., 44 F.Supp. 415, decided April 13, 1942, I held that a motor vehicle was subject to forfeiture when engeged in the transportation of raw materials intended for use in the opearation of an illegal distillery in fraud of the revenue, and that forfeiture was not restricted to such instances where the finished taxable commodity -- the liquor -- is hauled. In that respect I went further than the court did in United States v. One 1935 Model Chevrolet, supra. However, I am in accord with the ruling in that case that the mere use of the vehicle for the purpose of transporting those connected with the setting up or operation of the still does not make the vehicle subject to forfeiture under Sec. 3321.
While it seems highly desirable that the law should provide for the forfeiture of vehicles used to transport those connected with the setting up or operation of a still, that is a matter which is exclusively for the determination and action of the Congress.
Accordingly, in consonance with the above, the libel is dismissed.