$40K Worth Of Contraband Cigarettes Seized On I-95

12:13 PM, Oct 17, 2012   |    comments
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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WUSA)  -- Comptroller Peter Franchot says Field Enforcement Division agents and Maryland State Police confiscated thousands of packs of contraband cigarettes on Interstate 95 South on Tuesday.

The cigarettes were discovered during a routine traffic violation stop near Route 175, say authorities. A trooper saw a large amount of cigarettes in a vehicle with New York plates. When agents arrived, they seized 6,000 packs of contraband cigarettes worth nearly $40,000, according to authorities.

The driver, 23-year-old El-Housseni Hassan of Brooklyn, New York was charged with Transporting Contraband Cigarettes and Possession of Contraband Cigarettes in the State of Maryland.  

According to officials in a press release: "The transporting charge is a felony, which carries a $50 per carton fine and/or two-year imprisonment sentence. The possession offense is a misdemeanor, carrying a $1,000 fine and/or imprisonment, not exceeding one year."

Hassan is in jail pending a hearing before the Howard County District Court Commissioner.

The vehicle was confiscated, say authorities.

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