U.S. Customs Inspector Joseph Turner Brown

U.S. Customs Inspector Joseph Turner Brown

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

End of Watch Tuesday, April 9, 1940

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Joseph Turner Brown

Inspector Joseph Brown succumbed to gunshot wounds suffered on April 2nd, 1940, near Sebastian, Cameron County, Texas, when he and his partner confronted two suspected bootleggers.

The officers stopped the suspects' vehicle on County Line Road five miles west of Sebastian at 12:30 am. One of the men opened fire and wounded both officers. The officers returned fire and wounded one of the men. The other subject fled the scene but was later arrested. Both men were charged with murder. His partner suffered minor wounds to his hip and scalp.

Twenty gallons of contraband liquor were found inside of the car they had stopped.

Inspector Brown succumbed to his wounds on April 9th, 1940.

On June 4, 1940, one suspect was convicted of murder and sentenced to 99 years. The other was acquitted.

Inspector Brown was survived by his wife and four children. He was buried in Denton, Texas.


  • Age 42
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Location Texas
  • Incident Date Tuesday, April 2, 1940
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Sentenced to 99 years

smuggling, traffic stop, alcohol violation

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Rest in peace US Customs Inspector Brown.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

April 9, 2023

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