Police: Rocky Mount men smuggled thousands of cartons of cigarettes to NY
Posted June 15
Rocky Mount, N.C. — Two men were arrested in Rocky Mount last week in connection with a cigarette smuggling operation that resulted in $20 million in illegal proceeds.
In 2015, Rocky Mount detectives began investigating several people in the city who were purchasing large quantities of cigarettes. The investigation led to the indictments of 21 men in the Bronx in a cigarette smuggling scheme.
“Our department takes crimes like this very serious. While the smuggling of cigarettes may seem harmless to some, the related crimes associated with huge amounts of illegal proceeds breeds other forms of violent criminal activity,” said Lt. King with the Rocky Mount Police Department.
Omar Mohammad Naser, 22, and Shaher Bahjat Dari, 28, who both live in Rocky Mount, were charged with being fugitives from New York in connection with the case.
Rocky Mount Police Chief James Moore said the men purchased thousands of cartons of cigarettes from local merchants each week and smuggled them to New York.