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Chinese Man Gets 70 Months in Prison For Buying Millions of Contraband Cigarette Cartons From Undercover ATF Agents With Cash and Ectasy Pills

marlboros2By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — A resident of Flushing, N.Y., who hailed from China, is headed off to prison for buying illegal cigarettes from undercover ATF agents and paying in cash and with Ectasy-like pills, authorities said.

Rui Bai Wang, 33, was sentenced last week to 5 years and 10 months in prison in Alexandria, Va. Authorities said he will be deported after serving his sentence.

According to authorities Wang was part of a conspiracy that bought about 2.4 million low-taxed cigarettes cartons in 2009 in Virginia from ATF agents with $165,000 and 22,000 Ectasy-like pills. The pills commonly sell for $15 to $20 a pill on the street, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The cigarettes were then sold in New York where the tax on each carton is much higher. Had they purchased the cigarettes in New York City, they would have had to pay $4.25 in taxes for each pack. Instead, they paid the 30 cents per pack in Virginia, according to a court document.

Willie Brownlee, acting special agent in charge of the ATF Washington field Division, which includes Virginia, said on Monday that the sale of contraband cigarettes is a big problem.

” A lot of this money could be used for organized crime, violent crime organizations and things of that nature,” he said.


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