FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
TUESDAY - September 20, 2011
NIJIM CONVICTED OF CONTRABAND CIGARETTE TRAFFICKING
GREENVILLE - United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that in federal court on September 15, 2011, a jury convicted OMAR M. NIJIM, 24, of Brooklyn, New York, of one count of conspiracy to traffic in contraband cigarettes, in violation of Title 18 United States Code, Sections 371 and 2342(a).
The evidence showed that NIJIM traveled from New York to a rest area in Linden, New Jersey, on two separate occasions to purchase contraband cigarettes from ATF agents acting in an undercover capacity. On December 1, 2009, conspirators paid undercover agents $248,280 for 9,540 cartons of contraband cigarettes. On January 13, 2010, conspirators paid $180,000 for 9,000 cartons of contraband cigarettes. Contraband cigarettes mean a quantity in excess of 10,000 cigarettes, which bear no evidence of the payment of State or local cigarette taxes in the State where they are found. The investigation revealed that the conspirators were obtaining cases of cigarettes from North Carolina, a lower state tax state, and traveling to New York and New Jersey to sell the cigarettes, where the state and local taxes are much higher. The evidence also showed that NIJIM was previously convicted of possession of contraband cigarettes in Suffolk County, New York, on April 14, 2010.
At sentencing, set for December 5, 2011, NIJIM faces up to five years’ imprisonment followed by up to three years’ supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.
Investigation of this case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, National Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement (NC ALE), Wake County Sheriff’s Department, Raleigh Police Department, Zebulon Police Department, Rocky Mount Police Department, and New Jersey Treasury Enforcement. Assistant United States Attorney Eric Evenson represented the government.
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