PD: 3 accused of illegally selling tobacco - WFSB 3 Connecticut

PD: 3 accused of illegally selling tobacco

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Three people were arrested for smuggling tobacco into the state from Pennsylvania and selling it wholesale. (WFSB) Three people were arrested for smuggling tobacco into the state from Pennsylvania and selling it wholesale. (WFSB)
(WFSB) (WFSB)
MERIDEN, CT (WFSB) -

Three people were arrested for smuggling tobacco into the state from Pennsylvania and selling it wholesale.

The Department of Revenue Services announced the arrests on Tuesday and called them the result of a long-term investigation.

According to agents, the crew would go to Pennsylvania twice per week with thousands of dollars in cash, and come back with a truck load of tobacco.

"Its a large amount of money. I would say in a years time, Connecticut, you're looking at $8 to $10 million of product bought from Pennsylvania, illegally brought to Connecticut, untaxed," said Special Agent Patrick Bernardo.

The suspects were doing it to avoid paying the Connecticut sales tax. Officials seized over $120,000 in cash.

On Tuesday, the state raided a Miller Street warehouse and arrested three people.

There were so many tobacco products inside the warehouse, there was enough to fill two U-Haul trucks, with even more left over for another load.

Commissioner of Revenue Services Kevin Sullivan held a news conference to announce the arrests. He said a Tobacco Enforcement unit created earlier this year will continue to key on the illegal trafficking of tobacco and cigarettes, and that this operation got rolling after getting a few tips.

"It's unfair to those who do the right thing and compete with these folks and unfair to the tax payers, and at the end of the day, its a crime," Sullivan said.

Sullivan cited local police departments, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms as assisting with the investigation.

Officials said there could be more arrests, and they are even looking into the businesses and vendors that might have been taken this product and didn't pay taxes on it themselves.

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