The New York Times February 10, 1952
TEEN-AGE ADDICTS REPORTED FEWER
Narcotics Bureau Says Upward Trend Was Halted in 1951 and 'Mobsters' Jailed
Special to The New York Times.
WASHINGTON, Feb. 9-- Federal agents, striking at important sources of
narcotics in 1951, have halted an upward trend in teenage drug addiction and have sent
to prison some of the narcotic traffic's "worst mobsters," Harry J. Anslinger,
commissioner of Bureau of Narcotics, reported today.
In a yearend accounting to John W. Snyder, Secretary of the Treasury, Mr. Anslinger said
that bureau agents seized 3,135 ounces of narcotics- excluding marijuana-- in 1951, as
against 2,416 in 1950. They arrested 4,172 alleged violators of Federal narcotic laws, 353
in New York City alone.
Many of the peddlers caught were said to have been providing narcotics to teenagers.
Thus, the report said, fewer teenage addicts have been dected [sic], and there has been
a "sharp reduction" in the number of teenagers seeking hospitalization because
of ill effects from the use of narcotics.
Traffic in heroin, however, continues to be the most pressing problem in narcotic
enforcement, Mr. Anslinger said, despite seizures last year of 948 ounces of the drug, as
compared with 731 the year before.
Cocaine Traffic Ebb Seen
He said too, that the cocaine traffic, a serious problem two years ago, appeared now to be
diminishing. While figures were not made available, Mr. Anslinger said the seizures of the
drug last year were moderate.
Agents captured less marijuana in 1951 than in 1950, 36,091 ounces to 45,668.
The commissioner told Mr. Snyder that the Federal agents operated throughout the year
under a mandate to discover and block important supply sources, leaving to local
authorities where possible the conduct of investigations of purely local importance.
The report said Federal agents in their "conspicuously successful" year, found
several links between the underworlds of New York and those of Los Angeles and Texas.
As an example of twoway traffic between New York and Los Angeles, the report told of the
arrest of two alleged drug peddlers in Los Angeles who were identified as members of the
"107 Street mob" in New York. It was charged that they were acting as principal
distributors of heroin in wholesale lots to dealers in Los Angeles.
A tieup between Texas and New York for the exchange of heroin and marijuana [sic] was
uncovered at Houston, it was said. Six arrests were made and fifty pounds of marijuana and
seven ounces of heroin were seized. The marihuana [sic] had been smuggled into the United
States from Mexico and, according to the report, was to be exchanged for heroin, supplied
by illicit dealers in New York and other eastern cities.
Another participant in the New YorkTexas barter traffic--the exchange of heroin for
marijuana-- was arrested by narcotics agents in Houston last year and was described as the
"source of supply for several large wholesale marijuana dealers in New York
Waxey Gordon Arrest Cited
The report also recalled the arrest in New York of Irving Wexler, better known as Waxey
Gordon, terming him the "most notorious of all the hoodlums to fall into the Narcotic
Bureau net during 1951."
Gordon and three accomplices arrested with him on a New York street last July, are now
serving prison sentences.
In one nonNew York case, the report told of two owners of a drug store in
WinstonSalem, N.C., who were sent to prison for operating a prescription scheme that
involved the purported sale of large amounts of cough syrup.
Evidence showed that in fifteen months the drug store sold 28,000 tablets of dilaudid, a
narcotic. It was found that of 2,449 prescriptions on which dilaudid tablets were sold
only 243 were legitimate. The others were camouflaged, calling for eight ounces of cough
syrup to each grain of the narcotic and, the agents found, the tablets were sold to drug
addicts apart from the syrup.
High Bail Policy Set Here
A new policy of high bail for narcotics vendors will be followed in this /federal
district, United States Commissioner Edward W. McDonald said yesterday when he fixed
$10,000 bond for an alleged seller of heroin.
"Sellers of drugs who endanger the health of others will face high bail here,"
Mr. McDonald said. "This will be a new policy. They endanger the health of others and
should be kept off the streets. There may be some excuse for an addict who is driven to
selling to raise money for his own addiction. But there is none for a nonaddicted
Saul S. Sharison, Assistant United States Attorney, asking that bail of $25,000 be set in
the case of Ralph Vila, 25 years old, of 25 West 111th Street, said his office favored
high bail in view of the "terrible drug addiction in the country." Commissioner
McDonald ruled that $10,000 was sufficient in this instance.
Vila is charged with having sold eightyeight grains of heroin to a narcotics agent on
Jan. 22. Mr. Sharison told the court that the dependant had two previous convictions for
illegal possession of narcotics. Vila, protesting the high bail, was taken to the Federal
House of Detention to await grand jury action.