Virginia man sentenced in cigarette smuggling case


MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (AP) – A Virginia man has been sentenced to three years in prison for cigarette smuggling.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Martinsburg said in a news release that 32-year-old Mohamed Abdo Elbarati of Winchester, Virginia, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to traffic in contraband cigarettes in February 2016. He was sentenced Monday.

The release said Elbarati collaborated with others in a trafficking network and that they transported large quantities of cigarettes across state lines.

Prosecutors said the cigarettes were acquired in Virginia, which has a low tax rate for cigarettes, and sold in New York, which has one of the highest tax rates. The cigarettes were possessed and transported in West Virginia.

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