Operative Robert K. Webster

Operative Robert K. Webster

United States Department of the Treasury - United States Secret Service, U.S. Government

End of Watch Sunday, August 7, 1927

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Robert K. Webster

Operative Robert Webster, Coast Guardsman Sidney Sanderlin, and Coast Guardsman Victor Lamby, of the United States Coast Guard, were shot and killed by a suspect they had just arrested for rum running near the Bimini Islands. Operative Webster was en route to conduct a counterfeit investigation when he was killed.

The incident occurred after their Coast Guard Cutter CGC 249 stopped the suspect's boat. The killer, a 43-year-old gulf stream pirate, was called "King of the Rum Runners" during the prohibition era. He was sentenced to death and hung at the Coast Guard Station in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, on August 17, 1929. A man with him was sentenced to one year after he turned states evidence. This was the only execution ever carried out by the U.S. Coast Guard, the only execution ever carried out in a seaplane hangar, and the last legal hanging in Florida.

Operative Webster, a US WWI veteran, served with the United States Secret Service for seven years. He was survived by his wife and two young children and is buried at Arlington National Cemetary.


  • Age Not available
  • Tour 7 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Location Overseas
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Executed in 1929

alcohol violation, arrest

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Mark Mottola

August 7, 2020

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