Md. Agents Make Major Illicit Butt Bust

By Tim Persinko
|  Friday, Jul 29, 2011  |  Updated 1:39 PM EDT
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Maryland law enforcement helped stamp out illegal cigarette sales with a string of major busts this week.

In total, the Maryland comptroller's Field Enforcement Division confiscated 18,000 packs of contrabands cigarettes, and arrested 9.

On July 26, agents worked with Virginia law enforcement to seize nearly 4,000 packs of under-the-table cigarettes in Cecil County.  The comptroller's office said the butts seized during a vehicle stop had a "street" value of $24,000.  Two New York City men were arrested, and a 2011 Jeep was confiscated.

The following day, agents caught wind of another cigarette deal.  They arrested a New York resident after watching him purchase bags of cigarettes in Somerset County.  The man's car held 6,646 cigarettes in total, worth $40,000.

On July 28, agents made three separate busts.  Two of those busts took place in Prince George's County.

All of the nine arrested have been charged with transporting contraband cigarettes, a felony, which can carry a two-year prison sentence.

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