Advertisement

Man fined $35,000 for conspiring to smuggle cigarettes through Md.

Abdelaziz M. Abdelaziz pleaded guilty to conspiring to transport unstamped cigarettes

April 17, 2013

A Brooklyn, N.Y., man was placed on probation for 11 months and fined $35,000 after pleading guilty Monday in Washington County Circuit Court to conspiring to smuggle 2,568 cartons of cigarettes through Maryland.

Abdelaziz M. Abdelaziz, 43, pleaded guilty to conspiring to transport unstamped cigarettes in the July 10, 2012, incident.

Assistant State’s Attorney Arthur Rozes told Judge Daniel P. Dwyer that a home in Powhatan, Va., had been under surveillance by agents from the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Virginia Attorney General’s Office for possible cigarette smuggling.

During the surveillance “case upon case of cigarettes” were loaded into a cargo van, which left the house with a sport utility vehicle following.

The Virginia Attorney General’s Office notified the Maryland Comptroller’s Office that the vehicles were heading north on Interstate 81 and Maryland State Police pulled the vehicles over in Washington County, Rozes said.

Advertisement

Abdelaziz was in the sport utility vehicle and had rented both it and the van at John  F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Rozes said.

The fine on the charge could have been more than $128,000 but, Rozes said, “the state has extended the hand of mercy and is only asking for $35,000.”

The $35,000 fine was separate from the seizure and forfeiture of the 25,680 individual packs of cigarettes.

In an unrelated case earlier this month in circuit court, a New York City man was fined $5,000 and placed on probation after pleading guilty to transporting cigarettes. In that case, Henry A. Badia, was caught in Maryland transporting 805 cartons of cigarettes in a vehicle he had rented at LaGuardia Airport.

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|