Comptroller Agents Seize 8K Packs of Contraband Cigarettes on I-70 in Hagerstown

-New York Resident Arrested, Vehicle and Nearly $52K Worth of Cigarettes Seized-

Annapolis, MD (November 8, 2012)

Working hard to ensure that everyone pays their fair share, Comptroller Peter Franchot announced today that agents from his Field Enforcement Division confiscated 8,000 packs of contraband cigarettes on Interstate 70 in Hagerstown, Md. Yesterday, the Comptroller’s agents stopped the driver of a New Jersey registered vehicle and confiscated nearly $52,000 worth of illegal cigarettes.

“My agents will continue to aggressively crackdown on cigarette smuggling and other illegal tax evasion tactics,” said Comptroller Franchot. “This illegal activity will not be tolerated in Maryland.”

Officials arrested the driver of the vehicle, Henry A. Badia, a 33-year-old resident of New York, NY. He has been charged with Transporting Contraband Cigarettes and Possession of Contraband Cigarettes in the State of Maryland. 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.

“I look forward to working with the Maryland General Assembly in the Spring to pass legislation that will implement harsher penalties and allow for stricter enforcement for these crimes throughout the state,” continued Comptroller Franchot.
The vehicle was confiscated and the defendant was detained before being released on a $3,000 bond.

MEDIA CONTACT: Caron Brace (410) 212-9414 (cell)