5 Participants in Carolinas Cigarette Smuggling Ring Convicted in Charlotte Headed to Federal Prison

From WBT Radio News, January 23, 2013
Five people have been sentenced in federal court in Charlotte for participating in a cigarette smuggling ring operating in North and South Carolina.The sentences handed down Wednesday by Chief U.S. District Judge Frank Whitney ranged from 14 months to 18 years in prison.

The longest sentence, 18 years, was reserved for 35 year old Kamal Zaki Qazah of Columbia, South Carolina, convicted by a jury last February along with 48 year old co-defendant Nasser Kamal Alquza after a week-long trial in Charlotte. Qazah and Alquza, of Mt. Pleasant, N.C., owned businesses through which the co-conspirators laundered their criminal proceeds.

Local, state and federal officials say the smuggling conspiracy trafficked more than 486-thousand cartons of cigarettes in the Carolinas with an estimated retail value of $20-million dollars. It’s believed the cigarettes were stolen in Virginia and Tennessee and then sold to a network of retail businesses and associates at prices far below market value.

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Published in: on January 23, 2014 at 9:05 pm  Leave a Comment  

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