Federal Prohibition Agent Richard J. Sandlands

Federal Prohibition Agent Richard J. Sandlands

United States Department of the Treasury - Internal Revenue Service - Bureau of Prohibition, U.S. Government

End of Watch Friday, August 2, 1929

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Richard J. Sandlands

Federal Prohibition Agent Richard Sandlands was killed when his neck was broken while struggling with a suspect in a boat on the Detroit River in Detroit, Michigan.

Agent Sandlands was on a temporary assignment to Detroit for 60 days during a concentrated effort to stop rum-running between Canada and the United States. He and another agent spotted the boat and boarded.

When the second agent got off the boat to call for assistance the suspect attacked Agent Sandlands and killed him. When the second agent returned the boat was gone and Agent Sandlands could not be found. His body was found floating in the river several days later. The suspect and the suspect's wife were both charged with manslaughter.

Agent Sandlands was survived by his wife, two children, and parents.


  • Age 26
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Assault
  • Location Michigan
  • Weapon Person
  • Offender Charged with manslaughter

Most Recent Reflection

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Agent Sandlands,
On today, the 90th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for our Country.

BPA Mike Casey
United States Border Patrol
El Paso Station

August 2, 2019

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