August 16, 1913, New York - Luigi Rosati, who has a fruit store in Coney Island, arrived on Thursday by Cunarder Carpathia from a visit to his old home in Italy with two trunks and two grips. He was greeted on the pier by his brother-in-law Nicola Romanelli, also of Coney Island.
Custom Inspector Albert C. Piper examined the grips of Rossi and found nothing dutiable therein. Then the inspector tackled one of the trunks. At this moment, Romanelli got alongside Piper and shoved toward him a roll of bills. The inspector looked at the bills and frowned. Thereupon Romanelli put the roll in his pocket.
The inspector called acting Deputy Surveyor Brophy and they had a conference on the probabilities of a great find in the trunks. Rossi opened one of them tremulously. It was a plain, trayless trunk, and on the top of the contents was an oilcloth. The inspector lifted the oilcloth and then fell back. An overpowering odor of cheese assailed the noses of all on the pier. The inspector learned to bear it after a while and then he probed deeper, and found nothing but Italian cheese from hurricane deck to keelson of the trunk. Then he opened the other trunk. He found there nothing but cheese.
Acting Deputy Surveyor Brophy ordered the two Italians to report to surveyor Henry yesterday, and sent the trunks to the public stores. The Italians, full of apologies, appeared yesterday at the Customhouse and said they had no intention of bribing the inspector.
They said also that they wanted the cheese for personal use to grate and sprinkle on spaghetti of which the family was very fond. Surveyor Henry suggested that the 300 pounds of cheese in the trunks would sprinkle all the spaghetti eaten at Coney Island in a season, but the culprit said he did not know the Italian capacity for cheese. They were released but the cheese was seized and will be sold by Uncle Sam. It is said to be worth about 10 cents a pound.
The Sun, New York, August 16, 1913