Social elites & politically connected could obtain whiskey at places like Sirota’s Pharmacy
The rest of society took their chances:
Prohibition Agents Raid 18th Street –
The Ambassador Oyster House
Washington Post – August 5th, 1928
Four men appeared in Police Court yesterday as the result of the raid Friday night on the Ambassador Oyster House, 2106 Eighteenth street northwest, staged by prohibition agents and the police vice squad. They were William Deegan, 29, 2511 Fourteenth street northwest; Francis Deegan, 24, 1217 Kennedy street northwest; Clarence Myers, 25, and Burgess F. Hart, 28, 2106 Eighteenth street northwest. They were charged with violation of the prohibition law and released on $1,000 bond each to await jury trial.
As the result of the raid, E. A. Rickert, 40 years old, 2112 Eighteenth street northwest, plans to ask Assistant United States Attorney Ralph Given to issue a warrant charging assault against J. J. Quinn, deputy prohibition commissioner for the District of Columbia and Maryland, he said last night.
Rickert charges that in the course of the raid he was seized on the street by Quinn and taken into the raided establishment, where he was beaten, later being turned loose. Rickert said that he was standing in front with a group of the other persons, who were jeering the agents as they broke up furniture in the oyster house.
An admission that gun play was employed by prohibition agents in the Ambassador Oyster house, 2106 Eighteenth street northwest, before other agents and police, armed with a search warrant, arrived for the raid on the place August 3, was made yesterday by Edwin P. Goggins, a dry agent, at the opening of the trial of liquor charges against the four men arrested in the invasion.
Goggins also admitted that he saw Deputy Prohibition Administrator John J. Quinn drag Earl Rickert, of 2112 Eighteenth Street, from a crowd of bystanders into the place. Rickert recently charged that he was dragged into the place, kicked by Detective William F. Burke, of the police vice squad, and beaten by other raiders. When authorized by District Attorney Leo A. Rover to swear out a warrant for Burke for assault, Rickert refused because Rover would not authorize a warrant for Quinn.
After a speedy trial, William Deegan, 29 years old, his brother, Francis Deegan, 21 years old, and Clarence Myers, 25 years old, were found guilty late yesterday by a Police Court jury of liquor charges, which grew out of the sensational raid on the Ambassador Oyster House. The given punishment is unknown.