BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A massive smuggling operation stubbed out right here in Baltimore after police seize 20,000 packs of untaxed cigarettes.
Ava-joye Burnett has more on the big bust.
Maryland Transportation Authority police stopped the driver of an SUV along I-95 near the 695 exit and inside his vehicle, they found thousands of packs of illegal cigarettes.
Police say they pulled over 32-year-old Anmar Shamakh from North Carolina because he was speeding. Inside his vehicle were cigarettes with a retail value exceeding $133,000.
MdTA police say it’s the biggest cigarette smuggling bust so far this year.
“This is over $41,000 in tax revenues that would be lost if these cigarettes were sold in Maryland,” said MdTA Police Sgt. Jonathan Green.
That’s something State Comptroller Peter Franchot says hurts people who legally sell cigarettes.
“We’re protecting Maryland businesses that are paying their taxes and doing the right thing,” said Franchot.
Police say Shamakh was on his way to New Jersey. He is facing several charges including transporting cigarettes within Maryland without the tobacco tax being paid, unlawfully possessing more than 30 cartons of unstamped cigarettes and speeding. He’s being held on $75,000 bail.