Local News

Nine indicted in cigarette-smuggling ring

Posted November 16, 2009

Nine people from across North Carolina face federal charges in a cigarette-smuggling ring.

According to a 30-page federal indictment unsealed Monday, the operation had been going on since February 2003, and the seven defendants profited more than $5 million.

The indictment alleges that at least three of the defendants owned tobacco businesses and supplied cigarettes to the other defendants, who took them to sell in other states where the tobacco tax is higher.

Ana Rodriguez, Alphonso Rodriguez, Carlos Rodriquez, Heidi Rodriquez, Kenny Salcedo, Willard Perez, Nicholas Oxendine, Ghassan Dahir and Darrell Brigman face numerous charges, including transporting in interstate commerce goods of a value of $5,000.


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  • wildcat Nov 17, 2009

    They will have time to think about their wrong while sitting in prison.

  • larieke Nov 17, 2009

    They probably got a government subsidy to stop growing it, but didn't stop. Entrepreneurs in the truest sense.

  • PurpleNGold Nov 17, 2009

    Wow, it's getting dirrrtyyyy!

  • josephlawrence43 Nov 17, 2009

    thanks to our tax and spend liberal socialist democrats--this is probably only the tip of the ice berg of black market activity

  • drh3102 Nov 17, 2009

    I know that I am stupid but they bought the cigarettes here, paid the sales tax, paid to transport them to another state and then paid folks to sell them and they made $5,000,000. How in the world can they make this kind of profit with everything they had to pay for in order to beat another state out of a buck or two in tax? I don't understand. For $5,000,000 you would think that the smokers of those states would drive down here and purchase enough to last them until the next trip. Car pooling or picking up some for a friend would make it worth the time and effort.

  • See Chart Nov 17, 2009

    2 for 5 is a common expression in nyc for bootleg ciggies.

  • One Good Dad Nov 17, 2009

    6 to 9 months in jail------3 to 6 months out early for good behavior-----$5,000.000.00 profit. I'll take jail.

  • whatusay Nov 17, 2009

    The government must get their share.

  • baracus Nov 17, 2009

    "So exactly what did these guys do wrong? I do not see a crime."

    They didn't pay NY the applicable taxes on the cigarettes they sold.

  • annemarek Nov 17, 2009

    I recently went up north to NY State where a pack of cigarettes was about 10 dollars a pack. Kidding I said that we should buy cigarettes down south and sell them up north. Looks like someone else beat me to it. So exactly what did these guys do wrong? I do not see a crime.