Agent James R. Kerrigan

James R. Kerrigan

Narcotic Agent

March 09, 1888 - December 27, 1928

Federal narcotic agent James R. Kerrigan died December 27, 1928, from abdominal injuries sustained on September 28, 1928, when he fell eight feet into an areaway while conducting a raid on an opium den in Newark, New Jersey’s Chinatown. Agent Kerrigan continued to work after his fall but frequently complained of sudden pains. Three months later he checked into a hospital and it was decided that he should undergo an abdominal operation to relieve the ailment. Agent Kerrigan showed improvement after the operation but suffered a sudden relapse and died.

Agent Kerrigan was assigned to the New York City Narcotics office for the Bureau of Prohibition with the Department of Treasury. Agent Kerrigan’s fellow agents referred to him as “the cleverest narcotic investigator in the United States, one who had run down more big narcotic law offenders than any one else.” The raid in Newark in which Kerrigan sustained his injuries was one of six raids made that night and it resulted in the arrest of ten drug offenders.

Agent Kerrigan left behind a wife and two young sons. He was 40 years old at the time of his death.

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