During Prohibition (1920 -1933), the piers of Red Hook were among many places that smugglers tried to sneak in large quantities of alcohol, often using innovative speed boats to evade federal agents.
On June 3, 1922, agents seized a tugboat laden with alcohol at the foot of Clinton Street. A fleet of speedboats poised to off-load the alcohol from the tug zipped away, fleeing in a hail of bullets from the agents.
DRY AGENTS SEIZE LIQUOR LADEN SHIP
- Motorboats Waiting to Move Rum are Scattered with 30 Shots
- Prisoners Tell N.Y. Officers Vessel Was Raided on High Seas by Bootleg Pirates
“NEW YORK, June 3 – Prohibition enforcement agents this morning seized the ocean-going tug Ripple, which lay at the foot of Clinton Street, Brooklyn and fired thirty shots at a fleet of motor boats that had gathered around the tug apparently to take off cargoes of liquor...”
“This morning’s raid was made by agents under John F. Parsons, chief agent. All were dressed as longshoremen and searched the waterfront in the vicinity of Hamilton Avenue ferry, where it had been learned the tug would attempt to land her cargo”…