Two sentenced in cigarette smuggling operation
MARTINSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA – Two individuals were sentenced in federal court in Martinsburg today for their roles in an unlawful cigarette smuggling scheme, United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced.
Fahd Hamood Aljahaf, 38, of Bronx, New York, and Muneer Kaid Khaled, 26, of Brooklyn, New York, collaborated to facilitate a trafficking network designed profit from the unlawful sale of contraband cigarettes. The defendants 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 New York, which has one of the nation’s highest tax rates. The cigarettes were possessed and transported in West Virginia.
Each of the defendants pled guilty in February 2016 to one count of “Conspiracy to Traffic in Contraband Cigarettes.” Aljahaf was sentenced today to 18 months in prison. Khaled was sentenced today to probation for a term of 36 months.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Stein and Shawn Adkins prosecuted the case on behalf of the government. Homeland Security Investigations, the Frederick County, Virginia Sheriff’s Office, the Virginia Office of Attorney General, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, the West Virginia State Police, the New York Department of Taxation and Finance, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation led the inquiry.
Chief U.S. District Judge Gina M. Groh presided.
*NOTE* This press release was corrected at 6:16PM on 5/16/2016 to reflect the accurate sentences imposed.