The opinion of the court was delivered by: STEWART
The Government filed a libel for forfeiture of an automobile, one 1951 Cadillac Coupe DeVille, Engine No. 516232421, allegedly used to transport narcotics in violation of 49 U.S.C.A. § 781. Both the owner and the chattel mortgagee have filed answers to the libel, each asserting a claim to the automobile. A hearing was held on the libel at which time it was agreed by all parties that the case be submitted on the transcript of the trial of the criminal action brought against the owner and growing out of the same state of facts. Upon this transcript and the record in this case, we make the following findings of fact.
1. The respondent, Herman Ross, is the registered owner of one 1951 Cadillac Coupe DeVille, Engine No. 516232421, and was the owner thereof on August 6, 1951 and for some time prior thereto.
2. On August 6, 1951, the said motor vehicle, operated by Herman Ross and in which Pearl Wilkinson Ross was riding, was stopped on the Pennsylvania Turnpike by two state patrolmen and the two occupants were taken into custody.
3. At that time, the motor vehicle was being used to transport 220 grains of heroin which, in violation of Section 2553 of Title 26 U.S.C., had not been purchased in the original stamped package or from the original stamped package and which did not bear appropriate tax-paid internal-revenue stamps as required by law.
4. On or about August 6, 1951, the motor vehicle was seized by William T. Duffy, Agent, United States Bureau of Narcotics. Treasury Department.
5. On September 11, 1951, the United States filed a libel for forfeiture of the said motor vehicle.
1. Section 781(a) of Title 49 U.S.C.A., provides in part:
'It shall be unlawful (1) to transport, carry, or convey any contraband article in, upon, or by means of any vessel, vehicle, or aircraft; * * *.'
2. Section 781(b) of the same title defines contraband:
'As used in this section, the term 'contraband article' means- (1) any narcotic drug * * * which has been acquired or is possessed, sold, transferred, or offered for sale, in violation of any laws of the United States dealing therewith; * * * or which does not bear appropriate tax-paid internal-revenue stamps as required by law or regulations.'
3. Section 2550(a) of Title 26 U.S.C., imposes a tax on heroin as a derivative of opium and Section 2553 of the same title makes it unlawful to purchase any heroin except in the original stamped package and provides that the absence of appropriate tax-paid stamps from the ...