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N.Y. man pleads guilty to toting unstamped cigarettes

May 25, 2004|by PEPPER BALLARD

A former Boonsboro man now a Brooklyn, N.Y., resident, pleaded guilty in Washington County Circuit Court on Monday to transporting 130 cartons of unstamped cigarettes in January and was given probation before judgment.

Zolton Magyar, 22, formerly of Hungary, was fined $6,500 by Circuit Judge W. Kennedy Boone III for transporting the cigarettes. He was ordered to pay $900 after Boone reduced the fine to $5,000 and gave Magyar credit for $4,100 in cash seized at the time of his arrest.

Boone reduced the fine after Magyar's lawyer argued that the $4,100 seized was not Magyar's money, but was collected from people to pay for the cigarettes.

According to charging documents, Magyar, whose address was 7741 McClellan Ave. in Boonsboro at the time of his arrest, was seen on the morning of Jan. 9 traveling between cigarette stores and convenience stores in Winchester, Va., buying cartons in bulk and placing them in the trunk of a green Volkswagen.

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Agents with the Comptroller of Maryland's office followed Magyar to his Boonsboro address and stopped him as he was pulling into his driveway, according to charging documents.

When Magyar was stopped, agents told him he was being stopped for cigarettes, to which Magyar said, "Yes, they're for me," according to charging documents. An inventory of the vehicle showed that Magyar was transporting 130 cartons of Marlboro cigarettes, or 1,300 packs, according to charging documents.

After first being ordered to pay back the money within 60 days, Magyar said he could pay the money within 30 days.

Since Magyar had no prior criminal record, Boone said, he placed him on probation before judgment. Boone waived court costs.

Probation before judgment is a conditional avoidance of imposition of sentence. Failure to satisfy the conditions of probation may result in imposition of sentence after a finding of a probation violation.

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