|"Cigarette smoking in Michigan is so rampant, says Dearborn Police Chief Ron Deziel, that his narcotics investigators spend more time tracking down illegal cigarettes than illegal [post-gateway] drugs.
"'We literally cannot keep up with the constant flow of tips on cigarette smuggling,' Deziel said, 'let alone initiation of meaningful investigations targeted at organized crime smuggling.' . . .
"The smuggling problem . . . extends far beyond Dearborn.
"In fact, Michigan is the biggest market in the country for contraband cigarettes, said Larry Ford, supervisor in the federal Bureau of Tobacco, Alcohol and Firearms. Ford said three additional BATF field offices outside Michigan have been called in to investigate smuggling."—Matthew G. Davis, "Cigarette smuggling getting worse, cop says," Detroit Free Press, p 10A (28 October 1995).
Better solution: Enforce MCL § 750.27, MSA § 28.216, arrest the sellers, they're blatant, obvious, in the store, behind the counter!! an easier approach than ignoring the sellers while focusing only on trying to hunt down the allegedly mysterious suppliers!
|"indicates that tobacco smuggling is increasingly dominated—often with the knowledge and consent of the tobacco companies—by a handful of criminal organizations that in some cases have links to organized crime. The report is based on a review of thousands of pages of corporate and government documents and dozens of interviews with law enforcement officials, smugglers and other sources worldwide."|
And do not overlook the changing of the cigarette formula to add coumarin, otherwise used for rat poison in, e.g., Warfarin.
Also note pertinent criminal law precedents for intentionally causing deaths. You can likely conclude that smuggling would not be out of character.
U.S. v Baker and Hale, 63 F3d 1478 (CA 9, D Montana, 6 Oct 1995) (contraband cigarettes, smuggling, racketeering (RICO) and money laundering)
US v Boots, et al, Case No. 94-1813 (CA 1, Maine, 29 March 1996) (cigarette smuggling into Canada, with bribery and tax evasion)
USA v Trapilo, Case No. 97-1011 (CA 2, ND NY, 5 Dec 1997) (case involving cigarette smuggling to evade Canadian tax)
Other Sites You May Find Useful
Tobacco Company Business Practices Cases
Smokers' Rights Cases Against Tobacco Companies
Tobacco Company Tax Appeal Cases
Tax Evasion As Fraud Constituting Moral Turpitude
The Center for Public Integrity is the source of
some of the above smuggling exposé article links.
Copyright © 1999, 2001 Leroy J. Pletten