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Press Release

New York man sentenced for cigarette smuggling

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of West Virginia

MARTINSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA – John Barrett Fairchild, of East Islip, New York, was sentenced today to three years probation for trafficking cigarettes to avoid paying the cigarette tax, United States Attorney Bill Powell announced.

Fairchild, age 42, pled guilty to one count of “Conspiracy to Evade Tobacco Taxes” and one count of “Contraband Cigarettes Trafficking Act” in December 2017. Fairchild conspired with others to profit from the unlawful sale of contraband cigarettes. He transported large quantities of cigarettes across state lines for redistribution and sale. 

The cigarettes were acquired in Virginia, where the tax rate for cigarettes is one of the lowest in the nation, and sold in other states, including New York, which has one of the nation’s highest tax rates. The cigarettes were possessed and transported in West Virginia. 

Fairchild was also ordered to pay a $5,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael D. Stein prosecuted the case on behalf of the government. The Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, and the Frederick County, Virginia Sheriff’s Office investigated.

Chief U.S. District Judge Gina M. Groh presided.

Updated June 3, 2019