TROY, N.Y. (WTEN) — According to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, investigators seized thousands of untaxed cigarettes and cigars on Friday. They said Derrick Hill of Schenectady was trying to sell them to a store clerk at Empire Mart on 5th Avenue in Troy.
The Tax Department said the tobacco bust hauled in upwards of 3,500 cigars and 1,000 cigarettes. For reference, a carton of cigarettes holds 100 packs with 20 cigarettes each, and retails for around $130 each.
Investigators said they spotted the attempted illegal sale during a routine retail inspection on November 30. They seized 475 cigars in the store, and another 3,039 cigars and five cartons of cigarettes with Virginia tax stamps in a vehicle that Hill was using.
Hill is not licensed as a wholesale dealer of cigarettes and tobacco products. He told investigators that the 4,500-plus untaxed tobacco products belong to him.
Hill faces two misdemeanor charges: possession of unstamped or unlawfully stamped cigarettes for the purpose of sale, and possession of 2,500 or more untaxed cigars.