News and Press Releases

Eight Subjects Arrested for Conspiring to Traffic Contraband Cigarettes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 10, 2010

NORFOLK, Va. – Federal authorities have arrested eight subjects for conspiring to traffic in contraband cigarettes.  Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, made the announcement after all were arrested and made their initial appearances in federal court.

            The eight subjects are:  Fajun Zhang, 48, and Mei Zhang, 21, both of Hillside, N.J.; Tao Zhang, 25, of New York, N.Y.; Qui Rong Ll, 24, and Yong Jin Ll, 47, both of White Plains, N.Y.; and Rong Kai Yang, 29, Min Hai Yang, 27, and Guishou Dong, 30, all three of Grimesland, N.C.

            According to court documents, an undercover operation conducted in a Norfolk warehouse by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) led to the arrests.  The eight subjects are allegedly from two criminal enterprises, one from New York and
New Jersey, and the other from North Carolina.  The court documents state that since the undercover operation began in June 2009, the two groups received contraband cigarettes in exchange for over $4 million in cash, counterfeit tax stamps, counterfeit U.S. postage stamps, counterfeit cigarettes, and counterfeit consumer goods.

            This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, with the assistance of the Norfolk, Portsmouth, Newport News, and Hampton Police Departments, the Virginia State Police, the Virginia Attorney General's Office, the Worcester County Maryland Sheriff's Department, the New Jersey Treasury Department, the Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Department of Homeland Security-Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.  Assistant United States Attorney Stephen W. Haynie is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

            Criminal complaints are only charges and not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty. 

            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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