1,000 Cartons of Contraband Cigarettes Seized in Queens “Stash” location had 821 cartons; 188 also discovered in a vehicle
For Release: Immediate,
For press inquiries only, contact: James Gazzale, 518-457-7377
The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance announced today the seizure of more than 1,000 cartons of contraband cigarettes and the arrest of a Queens resident.
Khaled A. Alshoaibi, 42, 149-23 114th St., was charged with a class D felony for possession of cigarettes that did not bear the proper State and New York City tax stamps, as well as a class E felony for attempting to evade the taxes on those cigarettes. He also was charged with two misdemeanors for possession of contraband cigarettes and trying to sell them without a license.
The defendant was observed by investigators with the Department's Cigarette Strike Force loading "half cases" of cigarettes into a van. They followed him, stopped him, and found 188 cartons of cigarettes with only Virginia stamps when they searched the vehicle.
After receiving a warrant, the investigators then searched a suspected "stash" location at 81-14 101 Avenue in Queens. An additional 821 cartons of contraband product were seized, along with $3,320 in cash.
The case will be prosecuted by the Queens County District Attorney. Under New York State Tax Law, the penalty amounts could range up to $600 per carton seized.
A criminal complaint is an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
You can report tax evasion and fraud online at the Tax Department's Web site or by calling 518-457-0578. The information is kept confidential.