WOOLLEY, Circuit Judge.
The indictment, drawn under section 37 of the Criminal Code (18 USCA § 88) and containing only one count, charged 19 persons with conspiring to commit an offense against the United States, namely, to violate provisions of the National Prohibition Act. 41 Stat. 305 (27 USCA). Fifteen were tried, 12 were convicted and sentenced and 11 have joined in this writ of error.
The conspiracy, as alleged, extended from 1921 until the finding of the indictment in 1926; evidence of the defendants' participation within the period of the statute of limitation being, of course, necessary to conviction.
The situation which the United States disclosed by its testimony in proof of conspiracy was, to say the least, extraordinary. Shortly stated, it showed that peace officers — constables and police — in the city of Monessen, and in the boroughs of Wireton and Pricedale, state of Pennsylvania, had, through a period of years, engaged in a sort of progressive or revolving combination with illicit liquor dealers, changing in personnel as officials changed and dealers came and went, and that the peace officers demanded and received money from those violators of the law who were willing to pay for protection, whether illicit manufacturers, prosperous bootleggers or petty dealers. The ramifications of the operation were many and the inter-relation of those who in one way and another participated in it were varied, yet they were in the main traceable and certain.
Having a responsibility for the enforcement in this circuit, not only of the National Prohibition Law, but of federal laws generally, we are strongly of opinion that the conspiracy statute should not be stretched to cover and be misused to convict for offenses not within its terms, and that, when resorted to, the conspiracy alleged must be proved as charged. When, as here, one large conspiracy is specifically charged proof of different and disconnected smaller ones will not sustain conviction; nor will proof of crime committed by one or more of the defendants, wholly apart from and without relation to others conspiring to do the thing forbidden, sustain conviction. Terry v. United States (C. C. A.) 7 F.2d 28, 30; United States v. McConnell (D. C.) 285 F. 164, 166.
While each person in the offending combination here disclosed was, doubtless, actuated by motives of self-interest, whether in extorting money or paying money for protection against raid and arrest, it is evident that the relations of the parties one to another — not only those who dominated the organization, but also those in lower spheres — were of a character and their actions were so linked as to indicate a common purpose to put their burroughs outside the National Prohibition Act and make them a safe place for the manufacture and sale of "moonshine" whisky. Astounding as this may seem, it was, nevertheless, possible, and, if the evidence is believed, it was true. Accordingly we find the evidence sustains the verdict convicting all defendants save those we shall specifically except.
Keeping in mind that the one crime which the indictment charged against all defendants is conspiracy to violate a law of the United States — not the substantive crime of violating the law itself — we have discovered no evidence that implicates John Sarnosky, Nathan Hollander and Hymie Cohen. Therefore, wholly without regard to whether the evidence proves these three men separately guilty of violating the National Prohibition Act, we find no evidence that sustains the verdict finding them guilty of the conspiracy charged. United States v. Heitler (D. C.) 274 F. 401.
As to Walter Wyatt, William A. Horne, Joseph Mochnally, "Heine" Edwards, Andy Dudas, Harry Bierer, Joe Plakenger and John R. Mahusky the judgment is affirmed and as to John Sarnosky, Nathan Hollander and Hymie Cohen it is reversed with the direction that they be awarded a new trial.