nvdaily.com link to home page

Traffic | Weather | Mobile Edition
      Archives | Subscribe | Special Sections

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

| 0

Man gets 7 years in prison

Last of cigarette trafficking conspirators sentenced

By Joe Beck

The last of 10 defendants in an illegal cigarette trafficking scheme that stretched around the world from the Northern Shenandoah Valley and involved more than $20 million was sentenced to seven years in prison this week in U.S. District Court.

A sentencing memorandum by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeb Terrien described the defendant, Anjay Patel, as "the leader and driving force behind a long term, financially lucrative, international criminal enterprise" that ran from 2009 until Nov. 2011.

Terrien said a law enforcement investigation known as "Valley Tobacco" uncovered other offenses in addition to the illegal buying and selling of hundreds of thousands of cartons of cigarettes. The other crimes included money laundering, tax fraud, identity fraud and drug smuggling, according to the sentencing memorandum.

Other online court documents trace the conspiracy to a warehouse in Edinburg off of Interstate 81 and other warehouses in Chantilly and Bristol. Local and federal law enforcement officials working undercover founded and operated the warehouses in Edinburg and Chantilly, according to court records. A cigarette wholesaler cooperating with law enforcement as a confidential informant ran the warehouse in Bristol.

"During the course of the conspiracy, the conspirators paid more than $20 million for approximately 925,329 cartons of cigarettes" bought from Valley Tobacco law enforcement agents, Terrien wrote in his sentencing memorandum.

The cigarettes were then sold at considerable profit in higher cigarette tax states such as New York and South Carolina. Terrien wrote that the excise tax on cigarettes is $3 per carton in Virginia compared to $43.50 in New York and $5.70 in South Carolina.

Patel also transferred money to a money launderer in London and traveled to China to buy counterfeit cigarettes as part of the conspiracy, according to Terrien.

U.S. District Judge Michael F. Urbanski also imposed a five-year sentence on Patel to be served concurrently with the seven-year sentence. Urbanski also ordered Patel and his co-defendants to pay $2.6 million in restitution to the state of South Carolina.

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

Keep up to date on local news

Sign up here to receive Northern Virginia Daily news delivered to your email box each morning and when breaking news occurs.


Comments that are posted represent the opinion of the commenter and not the Northern Virginia Daily/nvdaily.com. View our comments/submisssions policy. Report abuse by clicking the X next to the comment.

Local News Sections

Agency on Aging Agriculture Alex Bridges Apple Blossom Festival Aviation Basye Berryville Boyce Breaking News 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 Holidays Homes In The Spotlight Jeff Nations Joe Beck Josette Keelor Kim Walter Ledger Livestock Local Markets Maurertown Media Middletown Military & Veterans Moms Mount Jackson New Market Page County Pets & Animals Politics Progress 2013 Quicksburg Religion Rockingham County RSW Jail Ryan Cornell 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 | Classifieds
Contact Us | NIE | Place a Classified | Privacy Policy | Comments/Submissions Policy | Subscribe

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

2013 Virginia Press Association Sweepstakes Winner
The Best Small Daily Newspaper in Virginia!

nvdaily.com | seeshenandoah.com