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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - A Ludlow man was convicted today in federal court of possessing contraband cigarettes.

WILLIAM BRANTLEY, 39, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Michael A. Ponsor to possession of contraband cigarettes. At today’s plea hearing, the prosecutor told the Court that had the case proceeded to trial the government’s evidence would have proven that BRANTLEY purchased over 100 cartons of cigarettes without the required Massachusetts excise tax stamps and that he planned to re-sell them before he was caught with the cigarettes in a routine traffic stop.

Judge Ponsor scheduled sentencing for March 14, 2010. BRANTLEY faces up to five years imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, Guy N. Thomas, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - Boston Field Division and Colonel Marian McGovern, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police made the announcement today. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex J. Grant of Ortiz’s Springfield Branch Unit.


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