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Pa. residents charged with selling out-of-state cigarettes

February 28, 2003|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

A Pennsylvania man and woman were charged Sunday with trying to sell black-market cigarettes to a Washington County Sheriff's Department investigator.

Jonathan Craig Sewall, 29, of 1907 Cooks Mill Road, Hyndman, Pa., was being held on $50,000 in the Washington County Detention Center. He was charged with transporting untaxed cigarettes, selling untaxed cigarettes and obstructing and hindering a police officer.

Chastity Gail McMannis, 21, of the same address, was released on bond this week. She was charged with transporting untaxed cigarettes and possession of untaxed cigarettes.

Under Maryland tax law, each pack of cigarettes sold in Maryland must have an official stamp indicating state taxes were paid.

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According to documents filed in Washington County District Court, police were called Sunday to the Route 65 Flea Market, where a man and woman were trying to sell cheap cigarettes bought in another state.

Police alleged that Sewall was selling a generic brand of cigarettes for $10 a carton, and name brand cigarettes for $15 a carton. He was arrested after he asked the plainclothes officer to follow him in his car to a place where they could make a deal, police alleged.

McMannis tried to leave in her car but was stopped by deputies, police alleged.

Police said they found 65 loose packs and 10 cartons of cigarettes in McMannis' car. They said the cigarettes had state tax seals from West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

During questioning, police alleged, Sewall gave a wrong middle name and Social Security number.

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