Miss Georgia Hopley, "Revenuer"

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Georgia Hopley

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About Miss Georgia Hopley, "Revenuer"

Miss Georgia Hopley was the first female Revenue agent during Prohibition.

In the rowdy world celebrates the likes of Al Capone, George Remus and the "Real" Bill McCoy for their booze-smuggling prowess. But, women were far better bootleggers than men because many states had laws that made it illegal for male police officers to search women. Back then, it was considered insulting to accuse a woman of such a dastardly crime.

Women bootleggers would hide flasks, even cases, on their persons and taunt male police officers. "A painted-up doll was sitting in a corner. . . . She had her arms folded and at our command she stood up. But then came the rub. She laughed at us . . . then defiantly declared to bring suit against anyone who touched her," an unnamed Ohio "Dry Agent" told the Hamilton Evening Journal in 1924.

The alcohol smuggling syndicates took advantage of these legal loopholes, recruiting women into their ranks. Even if the gangs didn't hire women bootleggers, they hired them for ride alongs to reduce searches and robberies. "No self-respecting federal agent likes to hold up an automobile containing women," according to The Boston Daily Globe.

This had become such a problem for law enforcement officials that the government feared women bootleggers outnumbered men five to one. "On the Canadian, Mexican and Florida borders, inspectors are constantly on the lookout for women bootleggers who try to smuggle liquor into the States. Their detection and arrest is far more difficult than that of male lawbreakers," said Miss Georgia Hopley, the first female Revenue agent.