DRS: DRS Agents Make Major Tobacco Tax Bust in New Britain

DRS Agents Make Major Tobacco Tax Bust in New Britain

 

 For Immediate Release:
  Friday, January 8, 2016

 

Hartford – Commissioner of Revenue Services Kevin B. Sullivan today announced arrests related to the trafficking of fraudulently stamped cigarettes, as well as the seizure of more than $700,000 worth of contraband and counterfeit tax stamps from a residential location in New Britain.

 

Said Commissioner Sullivan, “Sale and distribution of untaxed and fraudulently stamped tobacco products is a serious crime. In addition to the loss of state revenue, these crimes are unfair competition with sellers that obey the law.  Because of the high cost of legitimate tobacco products, illegal sales continue to grow.  We also know there are often connections with organized crime and global terrorism. DRS will continue to step up enforcement in every way we can.”

 

On Wednesday, January 6th, Department of Revenue Services (DRS) agents from the MSA Tobacco Enforcement Unit, with the assistance of New Britain Police, arrested New Britain residents Maximiliano Reyes-Cadena, 43, and Epifanio Razon-Almonte, 57, on various charges related to the alleged trafficking of fraudulently stamped cigarettes and untaxed tobacco products. The arrests followed a lengthy investigation assisted by the New Britain Police Department.

 

As a result of this criminal enforcement action, DRS agents recovered about 1,100 cartons of untaxed and fraudulently stamped cigarettes, over 67,000 fraudulent cigarette tax stamps, and numerous untaxed tobacco products. The confiscated material represents more than $720,000 in Connecticut taxes.

 

Reyes-Cadena is charged with possession of fraudulent tax stamps, possession of untaxed cigarettes (greater than 100 cartons), and possession of untaxed tobacco. Razon-Almonte is charged with possession of fraudulent tax stamps, possession of untaxed cigarettes (greater than 100 cartons), possession of untaxed tobacco, selling cigarettes without a license, and first degree larceny.

 

Reyes-Cadena was released on a $25,000 bond and Razon-Almonte was released on a $50,000 bond.  Both are scheduled to appear at GA15 in New Britain on January 20, 2016.

 

The MSA Tobacco Enforcement Unit is a criminal enforcement unit within DRS. Anyone with information regarding illegal trafficking of tobacco or cigarettes is urged to call the DRS 24-hour tip line at 860-297-4887. Tips can also be submitted by email to tobaccotips@po.state.ct.us.

 

Media calls should be directed to the communications office at (860) 297-5610 or emailed to sarah.kaufman@po.state.ct.us.

 

{Picture of New Britain Cigarette Bust}

 

MSA Agent James Patrick Bernardo and Commissioner Kevin B. Sullivan with seized contraband.



Content Last Modified on 1/11/2016 3:16:44 PM