N.Y. man accused of possessing, transporting untaxed cigarettes Bronx resident arrested along Interstate 95

March 26, 1997|By Jill Hudson | Jill Hudson,SUN STAFF

Agents from the Maryland comptroller's office arrested a 21-year-old New York man along Interstate 95 earlier this week on charges of possessing and transporting more than 1,000 cartons of contraband cigarettes.

Marvin A. Bond, assistant comptroller, said agents from his office stopped Khlaed S. Almulaili, 21, of the Bronx, N.Y., on Monday near Route 175 in Jessup and confiscated 1,015 cartons of cigarettes and a 1990 Chevrolet Lumina minivan.

Almulaili was charged with illegal possession and transportation of untaxed cigarettes.

He is being held at the Howard County Detention Center on $10,000 bail.

Bond said the various brands of confiscated cigarettes have an estimated street value of $17,843.

The potential tax loss to the state -- 36 cents a pack -- amounts to $3,654.

Under Maryland law, the illegal transportation of untaxed cigarettes carries a maximum penalty of $25 a carton and one year in prison.

The illegal possession of untaxed cigarettes carries a maximum penalty of $1,000 and one year in prison.

According to Bond, Maryland is often the first stop for cigarette bootleggers, who pick up low-taxed cigarettes in North Carolina and Virginia and plan to deliver them to New York and New England, where the taxes are much higher.

"We try to stop them along [Interstate] 95 at the tunnels and at rest-stop areas so that they don't get any further north," he said. "This has been a big interstate problem since the mid-'60s when states began increasing tobacco tax rates."

Since January, the comptroller's office has made 10 confiscations of untaxed cigarettes, Bond said.

Pub Date: 3/26/97

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