Eliot Ness born on Patriots Day April 19, joined the U.S. Treasury Department in 1927, working with the 300-strong Bureau of Prohibition, in Chicago. Following the election of President Herbert Hoover, U.S. Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon was specifically charged with bringing down gangster Al Capone.
With Chicago's corrupted law-enforcement agents endemic, Ness went through the records of all Prohibition agents to create a reliable team, initially of 50, later reduced to 15 and finally to just eleven men called, "The Untouchables". Raids against illegal stills and breweries began immediately; within six months Ness claimed to have seized breweries worth over one million dollars. The main source of information for the raids was an extensive wire-tapping operation. An attempt by Capone to bribe Ness' agents was seized on by Ness for publicity, leading to the media nickname, "The Untouchables." There were a number of assassination attempts on Ness, and one close friend of his was killed.
The efforts of Ness and his team had a serious impact on Capone's operations; the main task of the Untouchables was to deprive Capone of the income sources for the graft payments that were his greatest protection, with an ancillary concern being the maintenance of public awareness of the federal government's activity against Capone.