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Press Release

Westborough Man Sentenced for Trafficking in Smokeless Tobacco

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts

BOSTON – A Westborough man was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Worcester for trafficking contraband smokeless tobacco into Massachusetts.

Muhammad Mushtaq Balaparaya, 60, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman to one year and one day in prison and two years of supervised release. In April 2021, Balaparaya pleaded guilty to two counts of trafficking in contraband smokeless tobacco.

Between February 2014 through April 2018, Balaparaya transported more than 500 units of contraband smokeless tobacco in violation of federal law. Balaparaya imported the contraband smokeless tobacco into Massachusetts from Pennsylvania, where he had obtained it. At no time was Balaparaya licensed to sell or distribute tobacco products in Massachusetts, nor had Balaparaya paid the required excise tax on the smokeless tobacco products that was seized from him.

United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins; James Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, Boston Field Division; and Colonel Christopher Mason, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney John T. Mulcahy of Rollins’ Narcotics & Money Laundering Unit prosecuted the case.

Updated February 8, 2022

Drug Trafficking