Washington County man charged with illegal cigarette sales

June 23, 2007

A Washington County man was arrested yesterday for trying to sell cigarettes over the Internet, a practice that has been illegal in the state since 2005, the Maryland comptroller's office announced.

Agents with the comptroller's office found an online ad for the cigarettes and set up a meeting with the suspected seller, James Kevin Morgan. It's the first time someone has been arrested in Maryland by comptroller's agents for trying to sell cigarettes over the Internet, the comptroller's office said.

After the purchase at a Frederick County mall parking lot, agents arrested Morgan, of Hagerstown, and seized 300 packs of untaxed cigarettes valued at more than $1,200. Morgan faces four charges, including selling cigarettes without a license, unlawful possession and transportation of untaxed cigarettes, and selling cigarettes ordered via a computer network.

The first two violations are misdemeanors, but unlawful transportation and selling cigarettes bought online are both felonies that carry jail sentences of up to two years. Agents with the comptroller's office also confiscated illegal cigarettes at an Annapolis business yesterday. Almost 3,500 packs of cigarettes were confiscated in both cases.

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