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Maryland State Police seize 26,000 packs of contraband cigarettes

Traffic stops resulted in charges against Philadelphia man and three New York men

July 12, 2012

The Maryland Comptroller’s Office and Maryland State Police from the Hagerstown barrack stopped two vehicles earlier this week that authorities allege were carrying 26,000 packs of contraband cigarettes worth $154,000 across state lines, law enforcement officials said.

The traffic stops resulted in charges against a Philadelphia man and three men who live in New York, according to a comptrollers office news release.

Mohammad T. Issa, of College Point, N.Y., was charged with one count of transportation and possession of contraband cigarettes in the State of Maryland.

Osama T. Issa, of Brooklyn, N.Y., was charged with one count of transportation and possession of contraband cigarettes in the State of Maryland.

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Hazim M. Abuhakmeh, of Brooklyn, N.Y., was charged with one count of transportation and possession of contraband cigarettes in the State of Maryland and conspiracy to transport and possess contraband cigarettes in the State of Maryland.

Abdelaziz M. Abdelaziz, of Philadelphia, was charged with one count of transportation and possession of contraband cigarettes in the State of Maryland and conspiracy to transport and possess contraband cigarettes in the State of Maryland.

All four have been released from the Washington County Detention Center after posting bond, officials said.

First Sgt. Kevin Lewis of the Maryland State Police said troopers from the Hagerstown barrack made the stops late Tuesday night on Interstate 81, just south of Interstate 70, at the request of the comptroller’s office.

The current laws make transportation of contraband (unstamped) cigarettes in the State of Maryland a felony, which carries a $50 per carton fine and/or two years imprisonment, according to the release. The crime of possession of contraband cigarettes is classified as a misdemeanor, carrying a $1,000 fine and/or imprisonment, not exceeding one year.

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