ATF Stings Put 250M Illegal Cigarettes On Streets

An Associated Press review has found that undercover agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Explosives in Virginia have put more than 250 million cigarettes onto the streets in the past three years in sting operations targeting smugglers.

The stings are a response to an increase in smuggling as smokers in high-tax states like New York seek out cheap cigarettes on the black market.

Authorities say the cigarettes have led them to organized crime rings, drug dealers and can even cut off financing for terrorists. The stings have yielded about five dozen federal arrests, though none on terror charges.

Even though some of the cigarettes undoubtedly end up in the hands of minors, anti-tobacco groups are encouraging ATF to conduct even more stings across the nation to combat the smuggling problem.

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  • by CherryCracker Kool-Aid Location: CA on Jan 22, 2010 at 11:04 PM
    Fed Up: Get out much, do you? Yes, as a matter of fact there are Tobacco Rehab Centers. Try a web search & see. Well Gary, it's not about anyone who may transport or house an item unknowingly. It's about the ones willfully breaking the law, so that would depend on whether that trucker knew or not, yes? As to whether or not it is entrapment, not any more so than anyother sting operation. "Entrapment" is usually a cop-out cry for someone doing something they know they shouldnt anyway.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 22, 2010 at 09:50 AM
    isnt this entrapment?
  • by gary Location: nc on Jan 22, 2010 at 06:11 AM
    yeah,yeah yeah,if 250million was cartons then look at the taxes the government wasted. anti-tabacco groups go sip your wine and alcohol and stay out of it. Bootleggers hid their moonshine in grain that was sent to market. So now people will say ban truckers too? Get a life,there is more important things to do like feed the hungry and house the poor,but instead you waste money going after free enterprise.
  • by fed up Location: aurora on Jan 22, 2010 at 06:06 AM
    At roughly $3.00 a pack, that's 15 cent per cig. hey that's only $3,750,000.00 of OUR MONEY they have used up. I don't smoke, but personnely I think they have gone to far already with this tobacco thing. Does anyone ever go to tobacco annonomus? Is there a single tobacco rehab clinic anywhere? why do you only find drug and alcohol rehab? Now they want to lower the drinking age to 18!! Figure that one out. Don't forget all the free dinners the Liquor companies gave to your government officials. You can go to a bar and get drunk but you can't drive. You can't smoke in a bar, but you can drive. Seems the only place one can smoke is either in ones car or home, BUT, you can drink just about anywhere. That's like driving on the parkway, and parking on the driveway. Go figure.
  • by obama's kool-aid stand Location: guyana on Jan 22, 2010 at 04:38 AM
    I would buy a smuggled pack of cigarettes, as long as they are cheaper than the $4 a pack I'm paying now. And no minors will get their hands on them. I just feel it is ridiculous that North Carolina, a once great tobacco producing state, has cigarettes that are so expensive. Just, please please please, don't tax my kool-aid.

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