Advertisement

Warrant issued for man charged with smuggling cigarettes

May 25, 2010|By DON AINES

HAGERSTOWN -- A bench warrant was issued Tuesday for a New York man who failed to appear in Washington County Circuit Court on charges of smuggling hundreds of packs of untaxed cigarettes.

Chandrakant Petigara, 70, of 212-29 Hillside Ave., Apt. 3JE, Queens Village, was scheduled to be in court to face charges of transporting unstamped cigarettes and possession of untaxed cigarettes, according to the charge summary filed in Washington County District Court.

Petigara was arrested March 23 after a traffic stop by Maryland State Police, who were operating radar on northbound Interstate 81 near Halfway Boulevard when they pulled over a Honda Civic that was traveling 67 mph in a 60-mph zone, the statement of probable cause said.

A trooper asked Petigara, who was driving the vehicle with an expired North Carolina registration, if he could look in the trunk and Petigara signed a state police search form, the statement of probable cause said. The trooper found 166 cartons of cigarettes inside black plastic trash bags, the statement said.

Advertisement

The cigarettes did not have Maryland tax stamps and Petigara did not have a permit to transport untaxed cigarettes into or through the state, the statement of probable cause said.

After being taken into custody, Petigara allegedly offered a state police corporal $2,000 to let him go, according to the statement.

The tax owed to Maryland on the cigarettes was $3,320, based on a tax of $2 per pack, the statement of probable cause said. The retail value of the 1,660 packs of cigarettes was $9,511.80 based on a price of $5.73 a pack, the statement said.

This was at least the third arrest for Mr. Petigara for smuggling untaxed cigarettes, according to the statement of probable cause.

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|