Federal Prohibition Agent Richard D. Griffin

Federal Prohibition Agent Richard D. Griffin

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

End of Watch Monday, December 6, 1920

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Richard D. Griffin

Federal Prohibition Agent Richard Griffin was shot and killed while raiding a still near Gadsden, Alabama.

He and two other agents had arrested five of several men during the raid. Agent Griffin was shot as he began to chase one of the men who attempted to escape. The other four then bolted from the other two agents and opened fire along with others on all three agents. The other agents returned fire. Agent Griffin crawled to a place of safety and hid while the other two agents, running low on bullets, were forced to retreat to their car. They went to Gadsden an quickly returned with a doctor and several law officers and men. Agent Griffin was found with two gunshot wounds and died as he was being driven to a hospital. Within a few hours, six brothers, their father, and another man were arrested.

An investigation revealed that the brother who ran from Agent Griffin shot him one time and possibly the second time, but one of the others could have also fired the second shot. No one was ever charged with murder. In June of 1921 five of the brothers, ages 20 to 38, and the other man were convicted of conspiracy to commit murder and sentenced to two years each in the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary. All six were released on February 23, 1923.


  • Age 25
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Location Alabama
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Sentenced to 2 years

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"Even The Bravest That Are Slain Shall Not Dissemble Their Surprise On Waking To Find Valor Reign" - Robert Frost

Thank you for your service.

Sean Burke, IA
Bureau of ATF&E

August 13, 2014

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