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Colonial Cases

United States v. Husar [1927]

[embezzling - opium smuggling]

United States v. Husar

United States Consular Court, Shanghai? or Court in United States?
1912

Source: The West Australian (Perth), 14 June 1927

OPIUM SMUGGLING.

Amazing Revelations.

The Special correspondent of the "Chicago Tribune" wires:-

An important victory was (says the Shanghai correspondent of "Chicago Tribune," telegraphing on May 8) was won by the United States Government in the United States Court when it yesterday secured the conviction of Leonard Goodwin Husar, former United States district attorney at Shanghai, on a charge of embezzlement of Government property and the disposal and destruction of public records and evidence pertaining to a gigantic international opium ring with ramifications reaching around the world from Shanghai to Persia.

The decision was announced by Jude Milton D. Purdy yesterday afternoon, the judge stating: "I reach the conclusion that Husar is guilty on several counts, and am satisfied beyond any reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime charged, and therefore finds Husar guilty on both first and second counts."

The Judge then announced that sentence would be passed to-morrow, and also that he would pass sentence on a local American attorney named Neil McKay Heath, who is alleged to have been Husar's accomplice.  Husar's counsel immediately announced their intention of appealing before the California Court of Appeal.

Husar resigned his position of United States District Attorney here last November upon the request of the State Department, following charges lodged in the San Francisco Courts by his wife in connection  with divorce proceedings, in which she charged her husband with accepting a bribe of 25,000 dollars gold from the opium ring for suppressing evidence.  His conviction is the result of a long investigation conducted by the American authorities into the ramifications of the opium ring, extending from Shanghai to Persia, with branches in various cities in Europe and Turkey, including Geneva, Hamburg, Constantinople, and Vladivostok. 

The opium case had its origin three years ago at Bushire, Persia, when an American named Tracey Woodward was prosecuted in the United States Consular Court, charged with shipping opium from Persia to China.  Evidence was brought out in the Bushire case of a voluminous character, and it involved several prominent American residents of Shanghai, and showed that widespread opium, truncations and shipments were being made from Persia by Japanese ships.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School