The opinion of the court was delivered by: AVIS
On or about January 21, 1933, near Hightstown, in this District, an International truck and trailer were seized by the New Jersey State Police upon information given them by neighbors near the scene of the seizure. When seized the truck and trailer were overturned in a ditch along the highway known as Route 25. The seizure was turned over to prohibition agents. When seized the truck contained 459 cases of assorted liquor, 24 pints to a case, and one case with 12 quarts of champagne. No one was apprehended at the time of seizure.
On February 7, 1933, a libel for forfeiture was filed under R.S. § 3450, 26 U.S.C.A. Int.Rev.Code, § 3321. The answer of Charles Zienneker, owner, was filed, in which, as a defense, it is alleged that he had no knowledge or information that the trailer and truck were being used for transportation or concealment of intoxicating liquors illegally, and denies that a forfeiture should be had.
A trial of the issues has been had; briefs have been submitted; and the matter is now before the court for its decision.
1. That at about 7 A.M., January 20, 1933, two trucks owned by Charles Zienneker, left his place of business on Crown Point Road, Swedesboro, destined for Bridgeton, to be used by a lessee in hauling operations between that point and Bridgeport, Connecticut.
2. That Charles Zienneker rented the trucks but had no knowledge that they were to be used for the transportation or concealment of non-taxpaid alcohol or liquor.
3. That in response to a telephone call at 7:10 A.M., January 21, 1933, the New Jersey State Police found one of said trucks overturned in a ditch near Hightstown, and seized the same.
No persons were found in possession of the truck, and no one was arrested or proceeded against as a violator of the law regarding transportation of non-taxpaid liquor.
4. That the seizure was turned over to agents of the Government.
5. That the truck contained 459 cases of assorted liquor, 24 pints to the case, and 1 case containing 12 quarts of champagne.
6. That said liquors were contained in burlap bags.
7. That no revenue stamps were on the bags or cases, and apparently the tax on the ...