Five Accused Of Moving More Than $2.4 Million In Cigarettes Up North

Federal authorities say three Eastern Carolina men are among five charged in a multi-million dollar scheme to smuggle low-taxed cigarettes up north.

Emad Wshah and Mamoun Wshah, both of Winterville, along with Sobhi Shehadeh of Roanoke Rapids are named in a 40-count federal indictment.

U.S. Attorney George Holding says the five men are accused of using Penske or Ryder trucks to ship some $2.4 million in North Carolina cigarettes to New Jersey. The indictment says the illegal shipments started in 2008 and continued until this year. Troopers conducted an inventory of Abujudeh’s car after it was impounded and allegedly found 28,000 untaxed cigarettes in the trunk, the district attorney’s office said.

Abujudeh pleaded not guilty to possessing more than 10,000 untaxed cigarettes with the intention to sell them, a felony, and unlicensed operation of a vehicle and speeding, both traffic violations.

If convicted the men face up to 20 years in federal prison.

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  • by whoo cares! on Mar 2, 2011 at 05:22 PM
    i think all cigarettes should be ten dollars a box. across the board. and whatever is profit made from these should just go directly to the hospitals' cardiopulmonary and oncology departments. then they could cut medicaid off for cigarette smokers in these related diseases and they can pay for their own stinkin medical care instead of sucking up the funds from everyone else.
  • by interesting Location: enc on Mar 1, 2011 at 04:58 PM
    Imagine how much they are making in profit. You know those stores run by a mid easternsers sell cigarettes one at a time for $1 a piece. One pack $4 turns into $20.
  • by Darren Location: Kill Devil Hills on Mar 1, 2011 at 09:55 AM
    Dave, you have no room to talk. You are a YANKEE BELOW the Mason-Dixon line. You should go back and live in the north.
  • by Darren Location: Kill Devil Hills on Mar 1, 2011 at 09:53 AM
    Of course the government wants to get these guys. These crooks are taking money away from the crooks in the government, and yeah they will be in some serious trouble. Maybe if they did'nt have such rediculously high prices up north, then that would cut down on the illegal activity going on, making it one less thing for law enforcement to have to deal with.
  • by Benny Location: NC on Feb 28, 2011 at 08:47 PM
    Eastern Carolina men smuggle low-taxed cigarettes? To the Sopranos in Jersey? How strange?
  • by ChuckWireWiggler Location: ChazWorld on Feb 28, 2011 at 08:02 PM
    It's not about the cigs being transported, niether state could give a big woop, it's about lost tax revenue. Money that they dont get to use to buy voting blocks or upgrade thier walnut desks.
  • by HELLO on Feb 28, 2011 at 07:37 PM
    Did any of you think that these cigs are being purchased in NC dirt cheap and transported to NJ/NY thus tripling their profits? The profits are probably then sent to the Middle East to purchase weapons to fight our soldiers over there. Ryder and Penske? I bet truckloads of cigs are going up North. Some ENC people are so simple minded. Look at the BIG PICTURE for once in your life!
  • by me & mine Location: beaufort co on Feb 28, 2011 at 04:36 PM
    Heck, between the two of us we go through almost 10,000 cigarettes in a years time. That's only two stupid smokers! (And yes, we are) If this is just cigarettes and not packs or cartons, then 28,000 could be considered personal for two or three people. And who wouldn't like to spend less?
  • by pete Location: grifton on Feb 28, 2011 at 04:34 PM
    I guess that's more foreign national's coming to America for a better life.
  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on Feb 28, 2011 at 04:26 PM
    This is much you spending on enforcement of a highly taxed product? Wellcome to prohibition....
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