'least,it' :jsiuDeontradictedby the: testimony of.: any witness, or by any circumstance, proven in the case. Just when the ·opium was put into thebarrelst-rwhetherbefore they were shipped from San Francisco, or introduced into the vessel, and packed into the baxirels atVictoria, or whether the'coritents of the barrels were changed after their arrival· at Ellensburgh-cannot be determined by the testimony upon this trial; and in either case no penalty has been incurred for which the ship, being a common carrier, can be held liable, or in anyiwayresponsible, unless there was complicity in the smuggling of .tbeopium on the part of her master or owner. 21 St. U. S. 322; The Barlltoga,'9 Fed. Rep. 322. As to ,the owner, the libel of ·info1'tnation does not charge such complicity "and there is nothing in either the pleadings or proofS to raise an issue :or justify inquiry.. ' The question as to guilty knowledge of the master is the one of chief importance, upon the answer to which the decision of the case must be predicated a.nd to this I find that it is shown, by a clear preponderance of the 'evidence, that Capt. Blackburn did not at any time have any knowledge whatever as to the barrels mentioned or their contents. Let there be findings accordingly, and a decree in iavor of the claimant.'
". SEVEN HUNDRED· AND FORTY
(Dtstrtct Oourt, D. WaaMngton, N.
CaSTOMS DUTIES-FRAUDULENT IJIPORTATJONS-EVlDENC_FoRlI'ElTURB.
In a suit to condemn merchandise as forfeited under section 8082, Rev. St., for baving been fraudulently imported, where the proofs on the trial show probable cause for theileizure, and the claimant makes no offer to explain damaging circumor from whom he, acquired the ownership he stances, andshpw wnell, claims, such withholding of evidence. is a circumstance sufficient to complete the case for the government., under section 909, Rev. 51;. (SuUalru8 bJJ the· COU1't.l
At Law.! P ·.H. Winston, U. S.Atty., and P.O. Sullivan, Asst. U. S. Atty. A. R. Cblmp.a1l, for claimant.
HANFORD, J. This is a case of seizure under section 3082, Rev. St., the merchandise alleged to be contraband being the 370 pounds of prepared opium Teferredto in my opinion in the preceding case, (United States v.' 'I'M ·Wttlla WaUa,tInlte, 796,) the circumstances connected with the discovery and seizure of which are stated in that opinion. After ·this suit was commenced, and notice of the seizure published, the claimant appeared.flled his claim as owner of the property, and answered the information, denying that the merchandise was of foreign growth and· blanufaetute, and that it was unlawfully imported into the
1JlUTED STATES II. TEN' HUNDRED AND SIXTY' TINS OF OPIUM:
States. Upon these issues a trial has been had, the testimony in this case being the same as that taken in the case referred to against the steam-ship Walla Walla, no additional proofs being offered on either side. The claimant has not, to the knowledge of the 'Court, appeared in person before the court at any time. He has not testified as to any facts within his knowledge as to when or how he acquired the ownership of the opium. For aught that appears, he may have bought the right of a smuggler to this property, since its discovery and seizure by the United States officers. It may be fairly assumed, however, that if he is the bona fide owner, and if the merchandise is not in fact contraband, that he could easily have shown, by competent proof, where and· by whom it was manufactured, when it was imported into the United States, if it ever was imported, and when, from whom, and in what manner he acquired ownership of it; and he should at least offer some explanation of the peculiar circumstances as to the opium being packed in casks, and shipped under the false designation of "sauerkraut" and "skid grease." Having failed to do this, or to make any attempt to do so, I think he has failed to establish, by a preponderance of the testimony, his right to recover the property, which he is bound to do to his claim under the provisions of section 909, Rev. St., which casts the burden of proof upon him; there being an abundance.of testimony to show probable cause for the seizure. A decree will therefore be awarded, condemning the opium as forfeited to the United States, according to the prayer of the information.
U'NlTED8'rATEB II. TEN HUNDRED AND SIXT'I' TINS OF OPIUJL
(D£etrlct Coun, D. Washington, N. D. Jsnus17 19, 189L)
At . P. H. Winston, U. S. Atty., and P. C. Sullivan, Asst. U. S. Atty.
A. B. Coleman. for claimant.
HANFORDt J. What has been said In the precedinR case Is equally applicable In this case, and determinative of it. For the same reasons there stated, a decree will be awarded in this case condemning the opium as forfeited to the United States, in accordance with the prayer of the information.