Local News

Nine indicted in cigarette-smuggling ring

Posted November 16, 2009 7:11 p.m. EST
Updated November 16, 2009 7:20 p.m. EST

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.