Accused cigarette smuggler facing more felonies
By AP/St. Louis Public Radio
ST. LOUIS – A man who federal agents say led a cigarette-smuggling operation that profited from differing sales taxes on smokes in Missouri and Illinois is facing more felony counts.
A federal grand jury in St. Louis has indicted 43-three-year-old Ghalib Shahjamaluddin of St. Louis on four counts accusing him of illegally possessing, shipping, transporting and distributing contraband cigarettes.
The indictment replaces a federal complaint that charged him with a conspiracy count.
A federal agent has alleged in an affidavit that Shahjamaluddin orchestrated a smuggling operation that sent nearly 29 million cigarettes from Missouri to Illinois, where the state tax on them is six times higher.
Investigators say Shahjamaluddin sold them for the going price in Illinois, making a hefty profit.
A message was left Tuesday with Shahjamaluddin's attorney.