nvdaily.com link to home page

Traffic | Weather | Mobile Edition
Archives | Subscribe


Local News arrow Courts & Legal News arrow Crime & Public Safety

| 1 | 0 Comments

Cigarette trafficker given more than three years in prison


By Joe Beck

A man involved in the trafficking of $1.5 million in contraband cigarettes for 18 months was sentenced to three years and five months in federal prison, according to online documents filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Harrisonburg.

Cheng Zeng was one of at least two dozen defendants who attempted to make millions by shuttling cigarettes from Virginia to New York, according to authorities.

Prosecutors say Zeng participated in 30 illegal transactions that involved the buying and selling of cigarettes worth more than $1.5 million. He bought thousands of cartons of cigarettes in Woodstock and Stephens City as part of an effort with others to resell them for millions of dollars more in New York City, according to court documents.

In one transaction, Zeng paid $19,440 to an undercover law enforcement officer posing as a cigarette seller.

The sentence imposed by Judge Michael F. Urbanski also included one year probation upon his release. Urbanski recommended to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons that Zeng serve his sentence in New York City.

Zeng was sentenced on one count of conspiring to distribute contraband cigarettes, a charge to which he pleaded guilty after the prosecution agreed to drop 22 related counts.

Zeng's attorney, Michael T. Hemenway of Charlottesville, had asked that Zeng serve no time in prison beyond confinement since his arrest. Hemenway called for a period of home detention as a possible prison alternative.

Zeng had a minor role in it compared to others, Hemenway argued.

Urbanski's sentence came closer to the three years and 10 months in prison and three years probation called for by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jed Terrien in his sentencing memorandum.

Terrien said he was especially concerned about the huge amounts of money to be made in cigarette trafficking. The millions of dollars to be made entice people to break the law against such activity, especially when courts impose sentences that are "miniscule at best," he wrote.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com






Leave a comment

What do you think?

(You may use HTML tags for style)

Comments

Comments that are posted on nvdaily.com represent the opinion of the commenter and not the Northern Virginia Daily/nvdaily.com. If you feel that a comment is objectionable, please click on the Report Abuse link above and in your e-mail to us include the comment. We will review the reported comment and make a decision on deleting it if we feel that it contains inappropriate content.












Look Who 'Likes' nvdaily!



Daily readers: Click the "LIKE" button above to get Daily news and breaking news alerts on your Facebook page.

Activity & Recommendations

Local News Sections

Agency on Aging Agriculture Apple Blossom Festival Aviation Basye Berryville Boyce Breaking News Briefs Business Charities Civil War Clarke County Colleges Corrections Courthouse Notes: Permits, Transactions Courts & Legal News Crime & Public Safety Economy and Jobs Edinburg Education Edward N. Bell Election 2012 Entertainment Environment Fairs & Festivals Fire & Rescue Fishers Hill Fort Valley Frederick County Front Royal George Washington National Forest Guest Column Hard Times Health History Homes In The Spotlight Ledger Livestock Local Markets Maurertown Media Middletown Military & Veterans Moms Mt. Jackson New Market Page County Pets & Animals Politics Quicksburg Religion RSW Jail School News Shenandoah County Shenandoah Farms Volunteer Fire Department Star Tannery State Stephens City Steven A. Boyce Strasburg Toms Brook Traffic & Transportation Utilities Valley 911 Warren County Weather West Virginia Winchester Woodstock Year in Review




News | Sports | Business | Lifestyle | Obituaries | Opinion | Multimedia| Entertainment | Homes | Classifieds
Contact Us | NIE | Place a Classified | Privacy Policy | Subscribe

Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily | nvdaily.com | 152 N. Holliday St., Strasburg, Va. 22657 | (800) 296-5137

nvdaily.com
Best Small Daily Newspaper in Virginia!


nvdaily.com | seeshenandoah.com