News and Press Releases

Russell Springs, Kentucky Business Owner Charged With Conspiracy To Engage In Contraband Cigarette Trafficking

– Failed to pay nearly $100,000 in taxes

September 13, 2012

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – A Russell Springs, Kentucky man was indicted by a federal grand jury meeting in Bowling Green, Kentucky yesterday on a single charge of conspiracy to engage in contraband cigarette trafficking announced David J. Hale, United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky.

David B. Cooper, age 46, is charged with knowingly conspiring to commit an offense against the United States by means of possession and receipt of contraband cigarettes. According to the indictment, between March 2007 and August 2007 in Russell County, Kentucky and elsewhere, the defendant Cooper, as owner and operator of DS Marketing, LLC, knowingly possessed contraband cigarettes in quantities greater than 10,000, which bore no evidence of the payment of the applicable state excise tax stamps.

Further, from March of 2007 to August 2007, Cooper’s company, DS Marketing, located in Russell Springs, Kentucky, was an unlicensed tobacco distribution company that sold and shipped unstamped cigarettes to retail customers primarily through mail order and telephone. The indictment further alleges that from March 2007 to about August 2007, Cooper and his co-conspirators defrauded the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and other states, of approximately $97,487.80 in state excise, sales, and use taxes, including approximately $43,241.97 that involved the sale of unstamped cigarettes manufactured by Cooper’s company Tantus Tobacco, LLC, located in Russell Springs, Kentucky.

If convicted at trial, Cooper faces no more than five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and a three year period of supervised release. He is scheduled to appear before Magistrate Judge H. Brent Brennenstuhl, in Bowling Green, on October 9th at 11:00 a.m.

This case being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Micah R. Reyner and was investigated by Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

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The indictment of a person by a Grand Jury is an accusation
only and that person is presumed innocent until and unless
proven guilty.

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