Santa Cruz County History - Executive Order 9066 and the Residents of Santa Cruz County

Full Text Newspaper ArticleSanta Cruz Sentinel-News, Morning Edition. Feb. 11, 1942. p. 1



Twenty Japanese were arrested, a truck-load of ammunition confiscated and quantities of other contraband seized Tuesday in an FBI raid on Japanese colonies in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties.

Most of the arrests were made in Monterey county, but the federal authorities moved into Watsonville to take into custody Ben Torigoe, Japanese operator of a sporting goods store there.

It was reported that a dozen shotguns, rifles, a camera, an illegal radio set, a manual on radio station operation and subversive literature, published in Japan, were seized in the Watsonville store.


While there was widespread speculation over the prospect of a raid in Santa Cruz, local police and county officers said they had not been asked to co-operate in any action. FBI Agent Nat J. Pieper led 138 federal, state, county and city officers in the scattered raids throughout northern Monterey county, site of some of the Pacific coast?s largest recent military developments.

Armed with more than 100 warrants for arrest or search, agents started at 8 a.m. raiding Japanese establishments in Salinas, Monterey, Watsonville, Pacific Grove, Carmel and a "mystery colony" at Chualar.

Pieper said a raid on a Buddhist temple at Salinas netted three priests along with considerable contraband. All three priests had been in the country only a few months, the FBI chief said, and one, Rev. Koyo Tamanaha, was formerly connected with police work in Tokyo.


Pieper said Torigoe was a former bootlegger, was once convicted of receiving stolen property, and up to the time the Japanese fleet attacked Pearl Harbor had corresponded directly with his daughter in Japan. Torigoe was arrested.

So was Shunso Matsuda, "the Emperor of Chualar." He is foreman of a labor gang of 250 Japanese employed and living on the 2300 acre Ellis Spiegel ranch. Two of his assistants were also jailed and questioned through interpreters, while agents made a detailed search of 26 cabins where the Japanese lived in what Pieper described as "the mystery colony of the Pacific coast."

Seized materials, all forbidden to enemy aliens, included guns, cameras, searchlights, a mimeograph machine, a microphone and amplifier.

Only five days ago Pieper led agents in a raid on the Japanese colony at Vallejo, near the Mare Island navy yard, in which 20 were arrested.

By 5 p.m. yesterday the FBI had searched 45 places and confiscated five pistols, eight rifles, 14 shotguns, six radios, a box of sulphuric acid, four floodlights, one crystal microphone, one amplifier, four spotlights, 60,845 rounds of shotgun ammunition, 50 rounds of revolver ammunition, four motion picture projectors, eight pairs of binoculars, and six cameras.

The raids are continuing, said Pieper.

Copyrighted by the Santa Cruz Sentinel-News, Morning Edition. Reproduced by permission.