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Mail Tribune 100, Aug. 22, 1921

The following news items were drawn from the archives of the Mail Tribune 100 years ago

Aug. 22, 1921


Principal Defendants in Booze Clean-Up Bound Over to the Grand Jury Under $1000 Bonds Each — State Witness Admits Sampling Whiskey — Rides Described.

James (Shine) Edwards and John Goodwin, taxicab drivers, charged with selling intoxicating liquor, were given a preliminary hearing in Justice of the Peace Glenn O. Taylor’s court this morning, and bound over to the grand jury under $1,000 bonds. A packed court room heard the evidence. The pleas of Attorney George Roberts for a reduction of bail were denied both defendants.

The chief interest centered in the identity of the prosecuting witness, who turned out to be a special agent of the state of Oregon, by the name of A. B. Gates, sometimes known, because of the nature of his work as “A. B. Johnstone.” He exhibited a badge of his office, and said that he bore a commission from Governor Ben Olcott. Gates was the only witness in both cases.

Goodwin went to trial first. Special Officer Gates testified that he hired Goodwin to take him on a trip to the Applegate to view a creamery, and on the way over, and back asked Goodwin if he could get him some whiskey. Goodwin said he might take him to some one who could. They returned to Medford, and drove down Riverside avenue to near the Jackson street bridge, and there, the witness testified, he gave Goodwin $20 for a bottle of whiskey, that was handed to Goodwin by a third party. Gates also testified that he paid Goodwin $8 for the auto trip to the Applegate.

Took A Swig

The whiskey — Canadian club — was exhibited as evidence, and was half full. Under cross examination by Attorney Roberts, Gates testified that he had taken “a swig to see what he was buying.” He refused to say where the remainder had gone, until the court overruled the objection. He testified that “a few friends knew he bought the whiskey and came to his room and asked for a drink. I didn’t want to let him know what I was up to so I gave him a couple.” Attorney Roberts questioned Gates at great length and referred to him as “a stool pigeon.” This line of questioning was halted by the court, on the grounds “that it serves no purpose except to humiliate the witness.”

— Alissa Corman; acorman@rosebudmedia.com