News and Press Releases

New York Man Sentenced 70 Months for Drug, Contraband Cigarette Distribution

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 16, 2010

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Rui Bai Wang, 33, of Flushing, N.Y., was sentenced today to 70 months in prison for distributing more than 22,000 pills similar to ecstasy and paying more than $165,000 to purchase approximately 2.4 million contraband cigarettes.  Wang is a citizen of the People’s Republic of China and will be turned over to immigration officials following his release from prison for deportation proceedings.

Neil H. MacBride, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Willie Brownlee, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) Washington Field Division; and Colonel David Rohrer, Fairfax County Chief of Police, made the announcement sentencing by United States District Judge Claude M. Hilton.

            According to court documents, Wang admitted he was part of a conspiracy that purchased large quantities of contraband cigarettes from undercover law enforcement from July 2009 through November 2009. Along with paying cash, Wang provided more than 22,000 pills that he purported to be ecstasy, which in fact contained a combination BZP and TFMPP, which are commonly sold as ecstasy by dealers for $15 to $20 per pill.

Cigarettes are considered contraband if more than 10,000 bear no evidence that state or local taxes have been paid. This is typically shown through tax stamps placed at the bottom of each pack of cigarettes, which, as of July 2009, cost $4.25 in New York City. With each carton containing 10 packs of 20 cigarettes, the affidavits claim that those trafficking contraband cigarettes potentially earn $42.50 for each carton of contraband cigarettes sold in New York City. Wang admitted in court that he was personally involved with the sale of contraband cigarettes resulting in a tax loss of more than $400,000 and less than $1 million.

            The case was investigated by the ATF and the Fairfax County Police Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Mellin and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick McDade.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/vae.  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.uspci.uscourts.gov.

 

 

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