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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Police officer, former cop jailed on suspicion of bootlegging scheme

One current Spokane police officer and one ex-officer were in jail, charged with stealing whisky, The Spokesman-Review reported on Oct. 3, 1918. (Spokesman-Review archives)
One current Spokane police officer and one ex-officer were in jail, charged with stealing whisky, The Spokesman-Review reported on Oct. 3, 1918. (Spokesman-Review archives)

One current Spokane police officer and one ex-officer were in jail, charged with stealing whiskey.

“Stub” Hooker pleaded guilty and agreed to testify against patrolman James A. Donovan and ex-patrolman J.T. “Pat” Whalen.

Hooker admitted that he agreed to buy 175 pints of whiskey from another bootlegger, J.L. “Dago” Smith, and then arranged for Donovan and Whalen to show up when the whiskey was delivered.

When they caught Smith red-handed with a car full of liquor, they demanded a $20 bribe to keep quiet. Hooker urged Smith to pay up, which he did.

Then they drove off with Smith’s cash and whiskey. The plan was for Hooker, Whalen and Donovan to split the cash and the whiskey. They were assured that “Dago Smith would never squeal” – but they were wrong.

Smith went the next day to police headquarters and told them that he had been framed.

After police heard Hooker’s story, they charged Donovan and Whalen with concealing the stolen whiskey and appropriating it to their own use. Donovan had already been charged with taking a bribe.

Hooker and Smith pleaded guilty to bootlegging charges.

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