Prohibition: Nine Suffolk Resorts Raided

Group of 40 Federal Agents Swoops Down on Island


Blue Point Inn, The Better ‘Ole, the Long Island Hotel, All Taken in Net, 25 Are Arrested and Large Quantity of Alleged Liquors Seized

Agroup of 40 Federal agents, led by William C. Nolan, Deputy Prohibition Administrator for Brooklyn, swept down on Long Island during the weekend, raiding 13 places in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, arresting 25 men and confiscating several truckloads of beer, whiskey, gin and win. The raids were in line with orders issued by the new prohibition administrator, Andrew McCampbell, under which the agents were directed to proceed against alleged speakeasies, rather than devoting all their attention to stills.

The raiding started at 5 o’clock on Saturday afternoon and was not over until 3 o’clock on Sunday morning. J. Beniram Wegman, Assistant United States Attorney in charge of the Long Island district, said that the agents had served every search warrant with which they were armed and had found incriminating evidence in every place searched.

Upon their arrival in Nassau and Suffolk, the agents went straight to the various police headquarters, announced their mission, and asked for the co-operation of the local authorities. They then proceeded to swoop down upon the following places: Triangle Hofbrau, Valley Stream; Barbecue Restaurant, Valley Stream; Old Homestead Restaurant, 710 West street, Long Beach; Sunken Meadows Inn, Kings Park; Barney’s Inn, Lindenhurst; The Better ‘Ole, Brookhaven; Emil’s Inn, Brookhaven; Blue Point Inn, Blue Point; Long Island Hotel, Center Moriches; Rothman Restaurant, East Moriches; Speonk Inn, Speonk.

The biggest haul was at the Long Island House in Center Moriches, were the raiders arrested Gardiner Murdock and John Feriazzo. The agents say they found a huge cutting and bottling plant in the rear of the hotel, with all the necessary equipment; and this was seized, along with several five-gallon tins of alleged alcohol and a quantity of assorted whiskies and wines. Murdock and Feriazzo were taken before Justice of the Peace John Morton in Brookhaven and released in bail of $1,000 each on charges of sale and possession.

Emil’s Inn, a pretentious roadhouse that had just been remodeled and which had formerly been the Music Box Grill, yielded a large quantity of beer and some liquor. Emil Lengyel was arrested as the proprietor, and three waiters, Fred Miller, Jack Leslie and Harry Green, were also taken into custody. The agents said that further charges of destroying government property would be lodged against the waiters for breaking bottles that had been seized as evidence. Arraigned before Judge Morton, Lengyel was released in $2,500 bail and the waiters in bail of $1,000 each pending their appearance before U. S. Commissioner Nicholas Petts in Brooklyn.

At the well known Better ‘Ole, which was run for years by the late William R. Seeley, the officers arrested William Dickerson, a negro waiter, who was released in $500 bail. The alleged proprietor was not in the place at the time of the raid.

Continuing, the agents went to Blue Point, where the Blue Point Inn was raided and Otto Baasch, the alleged proprietor, arrested. He was released in $1,000 bail. In the latter two places considerable beer and a small quantity of alleged liquor were seized. All the raids were made at about 10 o’clock, before the usual Saturday night crowds had congregated.

A woman in widow’s weeds, who gave her name as Mrs. Florence S. Smith, aged 47, proprietor of the Better ‘Ole, came to Federal Court on Monday with her lawyer, Leo Hickey. Federal Prohibition Agent Arthur Hickey set forth in an affidavit that when he questioned her about an assortment of liquors, beer and ale which he seized in her establishment, she answered: “I have to have it to satisfy my customers.” Mrs. Smith was held for a hearing before Federal Commissioner Fay on August 7th. Dickerson was continued in $500 bail for a hearing the same day.

All the other prisoners were arraigned on Monday, and the proprietors all held in bail of $1,000 each and employees in $500 each for hearings on various dates.

The series of week-end raids is said to be the start of a general clean-up of roadhouses and hotels on Long Island, it being understood that about 50 more places are due for visits.