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Dec 15, 2020 in 

The Incompetent Smuggler

Always be mindful about drawing a conclusion, even when it would appear there is an abundance of data to support it.

Ronald Scott

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If local customs officials living in the State side community of Van Buren and the Canadian village St. Leonard were to be believed, Oscar just didn’t get it.

You see, Oscar was an aspiring smuggler. I say “aspiring” because every time he attempted to cross the US/Canadian border, customs officials would pull him over and, searching his vehicle, find his secreted contraband – usually a few bottles of hooch (when crossing into the US) and cigarettes (when smuggling in the opposite direction). Keep in mind that in 1931 Prohibition had yet to be repealed.

Oscar tried everything – different cars, disguises, diversions. In the latter regard on one occasion he even drove a bus to the border filled with a small group of kids he’d recruited to join him on a field trip. Customs pulled him over, confiscated a dozen cartons of Camel cigarettes and sent him on his way. Needless to say, it got to the point that the border guards took bets in anticipation of Oscar’s next visit.

It wasn’t until the end of 1932 that Oscar got the last laugh. It was then that he was finally arrested, not for smuggling weed and hooch, but for grand theft auto. For you see he had for a number of years maintained two highly profitable auto dealerships – one in Maine and one in Nova Scotia – and had made a very good living stealing cars on one side of the border and selling them on the other.

Just goes to show that one should always be mindful about drawing a conclusion, even when it would appear there is an abundance of data to support it.

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