The Rameley Gang

Newspaper clipping photos show jail house, 3 men standing side-by-side, seized liquor, another photo of 3 men's mug shots.
Photos from the March 22, 1932 Morning Oregonian newspaper show men involved in the jailbreak at the Lincoln County Jail in Toledo. Enlarge image
Transcript of article "Principals in Toledo Jail Delivery."
The Canadian rumrunners were in a bit of a pickle. Not only did they lose their powerboat while attempting to slip into Whale Cove on a moonless night in early February 1932, but their cache of liquor was apprehended by local police and their escape plan was thwarted. Now the three were enjoying luxury accommodations at the Lincoln County Jail awaiting trial on bootlegging charges.

“Tonight there’s gonna be a jailbreak…somewhere in this town” - Thin Lizzy

On the night of March 19, 1932, four vehicles entered the town of Toledo. A large sedan led the convoy, followed by two sizeable trucks, and a Buick coupe. The coupe contained two men armed with machine guns. The nine men, known to be part of the “Remaley Gang” were also believed to be part of a coast-wide rum running syndicate. They had come to break out the three Canadians and their substantial cache of liquor. Roughly 400 cases of Canadian whiskey, rum, and brandy, along with several dozen 15 gallon cans of 190 proof alcohol were locked in the jail’s evidence room.

Newspaper clipping with 2 photos. 1 of 4 men standing in the bed of a truck full of packages, 1 of 2 men standing in a storeroom with shelving.
Photos from the March 27, 1932 Morning Oregonian newspaper show officials with the liquor hijacked from the Lincoln County Jail in Toledo. Enlarge image 
Transcript of article "Hijacked Liquor Lodged in Custom House for Safety."
One of the trucks pulled up near the jailhouse. Sidney Carrick, equipped with a bucket of welding equipment including a cutting torch, got to work. Fifteen minutes later he had the locks cut off and the prisoners were free. Carrick next cut his way into the evidence locker and soon the rest of the crew were hauling boxes of booze out to the trucks. The men with the machine guns sat in the Buick keeping watch. A few minutes later the liquor laden trucks and the Canadians were heading toward Portland. The two lookouts left the convoy and disappeared into the night.

Unbeknownst to the crew, Portland authorities received an anonymous phone call warning them that something was going to happen in Toledo that night. This tip was relayed to the Oregon State Police to investigate and state troopers were about 20 minutes from Toledo when they passed the convoy heading north. After they saw the damage done to the Lincoln County Jail, they turned around in hot pursuit.

The trucks stopped to refuel at the Salmon River cut-off, while the sedan continued north. It was there the state troopers caught up to them, apprehended the men, and repossessed the liquor--but they still needed to capture the sedan! A few plain clothes troopers jumped into the trucks to pursue the vehicle, with the hope of catching the occupants unaware and avoiding a high-speed chase or shootout.

The troopers caught up with the sedan, which had pulled over to wait for the trucks to finish refueling. By the time the criminals realized what was going on, they were looking down the barrels of .38s. The bootleggers were taken into custody and housed in the Benton and Tillamook County jails. Everyone involved was convicted on various liquor and prison-break charges, both federal and state offenses.

About the Inmates

Mug shot of Paul Remaley with prisoner number 12095.
Paul Remaley's Oregon State Penitentiary mug shot.

In addition to finger prints, Paul Remaley's finger print card lists his age as 32, complexion dark, eye dark brown, hair black
Paul Remaley's Oregon State Penitentiary fingerprint card. Enlarge image


Paul Remaley, a record holding international motorcycle racer, was considered a “big shot” in the bootlegging racket in Oregon. He had quite a few liquor charges dating back to 1922 before receiving a five year sentence for his part in breaking out the three Canadian rumrunners. Remaley knew things that he felt might help his case. He decided to contact Parole Officer Dan Kellaher and provide states’ evidence on corrupt officials and known criminals with the hope of getting an early release. He served about 20 months of a five year sentence before being paroled.

Remaley was out of prison a short time before being incarcerated at McNeil Island Federal Prison for six years for his part in operating an illegal still in December of 1934 along with Cecil Tartarini and Walter Thompson aka Albert Johnson who received four years. He continued illegal liquor activities after his release from Federal Prison.

#12095
Name: Paul Remaley
Received: April 16, 1932
Paroled: December 20, 1933
Crime: Burglary in a Dwelling
County: Lincoln
Age: 32
Height: 5’10 1/4”
Weight: 169lbs
Build: Medium
Hair: Black
Eyes: Dark Brown
Complexion: Dark
Born: Pennsylvania
Occupation: Auto Mechanic

Mug shot of Bert Chapin with prisoner number 12096
Bert Chapin's Oregon State Penitentiary mug shot.

View his fingerprint card


Bert Chapin had quite a few liquor charges dating back to 1924 before receiving a five year sentence for his part in breaking out the three Canadian rumrunners. Chapin served about 20 months of a five year sentence before being paroled.

#12096
Name: Bert Chapin
Received: April 16, 1932
Paroled: December 19, 1933
Crime: Burglary in a Dwelling
County: Lincoln
Age: 37
Height: 5’11 3/4”
Weight: 142lbs
Build: Slender
Hair: Dark Brown
Eyes: Light Blue
Complexion: Medium
Born: Iowa
Occupation: Truck Driver

Mug shot of Sidney Carrick with prisoner number 12097.
Sidney Carrick's Oregon State Penitentiary mug shot.

View his fingerprint card


Sidney Carrick was a familiar face to the Multnomah County Police with multiple liquor charges and fines beginning in 1924. As a juvenile he was in the Oregon State Training School in 1907 for about a year for “larceny and incorrigibility.”

During the court proceedings Carrick offered to fix the Lincoln County Jail free of charge. (Since he wasn’t going anywhere for a while anyway, he might as well make himself useful). He also offered to make the jail break-proof if they wished. Carrick served about 20 months of a five year sentence before being paroled.

#12097
Name: Sydney Carrick
Received: April 16, 1932
Paroled: December 19, 1933
Crime: Burglary in a Dwelling
County: Lincoln
Age: 39
Height: 5’9”
Weight: 196lbs
Build: Chunky
Hair: Gray
Eyes: Gray
Complexion: Sallow
Born: Oregon
Occupation: Cook-Decorator, Boiler-maker

Mug shot of Albert Johnson with prisoner number 12083.
Albert Johnson's Oregon State Penitentiary mug shot.

View his fingerprint card


With one prior federal offense of embezzlement and sentenced to two years in McNeil Island Federal Prison in Washington State, Albert Johnson served one year and nine months of his three year sentence in the Oregon State Penitentiary before being pardoned.

He was out of prison a short time before being incarcerated at McNeil Island as Walter Thompson for four years for his part in operating an illegal still in December of 1934 along with Cecil Tartarini, who received four years and Paul Remaley, who received six years.

#12083
Name: Albert Johnson aka Walter Thompson
Received: April 6, 1932
Pardoned: December 20, 1933
Crime: Transportation of liquor while armed
County: Tillamook
Age: 34
Height: 5’5 1/2”
Weight: 172lbs
Build: Chunky
Hair: Light Brown
Eyes: Blue
Complexion: Fair
Born: Nebraska
Occupation: Bookkeeper

Mug shot of Cecil Tartarini with prisoner number 12084
Cecil Tartarini's Oregon State Penitentiary mug shot.

View his fingerprint card


Cecil Tartarini had run-ins with the law since he was a juvenile and continued a life of illicit activity as an adult. He had quite a few prior liquor charges dating back to 1924 before receiving a five year sentence for his part in breaking out the three Canadian rumrunners. He served one year of his three year sentence before being paroled.

Tartarini was out of prison a short time before being incarcerated at McNeil Island for four years for his part in operating an illegal still in December of 1934 along with Walter Thompson aka Albert Johnson who received four years, and Paul Remaley who received six years.  He found himself back in the Oregon State Penitentiary in May of 1939 for violating the terms of his parole. He was paroled again on December 23, 1939.

#12084
Name: Cecil Tartarini
Received: April 6, 1932
Paroled: April 6, 1933
Crime: Transportation of liquor while armed
County: Tillamook
Age: 28
Height: 5’7”
Weight: 158lbs
Build: Stocky
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Light Brown
Complexion: Light
Born: Oregon
Occupation: Painter

Mug shot of Arthur Adams with prisoner number 12085
Arthur Adams' Oregon State Penitentiary mug shot.

View his fingerprint card


With one prior liquor offense in Washington State for operating a still, Arthur Adams served one year of his three year sentence before being paroled. His parole officer, Dan Kellaher, wrote to Oregon Governor Julius Meier on December 7, 1932, outlining the crimes of the group and wrote “All six of these prisoners have an idea owing to the fact that the 18th Amendment will be repealed and the Volstead Act amended, they should be permitted to be at large. It goes without saying that the stunt these prisoners pulled in order to take possession of the 300 cases of bonded whiskey in the Lincoln County Jail is considered by most people to be a pretty high-handed trick.”

Adams continued his criminal career after his release with another liquor charge in 1935. His file contains an inquiry from July 18, 1936, about his head measurements. A body had washed up out of the Willamette in Portland that friends of Adams believed may be him. He had been missing for a few months.

#12085
Name: Arthur Adams aka Charley Adams, Lester Dowling, Fred Harley/Harly
Received: April 6, 1932
Paroled: April 6, 1933
Crime: Transportation of liquor while armed
County: Tillamook
Age: 33
Height: 5’7 3/4”
Weight: 160lbs
Build: Medium
Hair: Dark Brown
Eyes: Blue
Complexion: Light
Born: Michigan
Occupation: Truck Driver

Mug shot of Joseph Nordstrom with prisoner number 12086
Joseph Nordstrom's Oregon State Penitentiary mug shot.

View his fingerprint card


With one prior liquor offense in Washington State for operating a still, Joseph Nordstrom served one year of his three year sentence before being paroled.

#12086
Name: Joseph E. Nordstrom aka Nels Kruger
Received: April 6, 1932
Paroled: April 6, 1933
Crime: Transportation of liquor while armed
County: Tillamook
Age: 26
Height: 5’9 1/4”
Weight: 140lbs
Build: Slender
Hair: Light Brown
Eyes: Dark Blue
Complexion: Sandy
Born: Washington
Occupation: Carpenter