About 1,100 cartons of untaxed cigarettes and over 67,000 fraudulent cigarette tax stamps-- which total approximately $720,000 in Connecticut state taxes-- have been confiscated, officials said.
Maximiliano Reyes-Cadena, 43, and Epifanio Razon-Almonte, 57, of New Britian, were arrested for alleged trafficking of fraudulently stamped cigarettes and untaxed tobacco products, the Department of Revenue Services said.
“Sale and distribution of untaxed and fraudulently stamped tobacco products is serious crime. In addition to the loss of state revenue, these crimes are unfair competition with sellers that obey the law," DRS Commissioner Kevin B. Sullivan said. "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.”
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 in New Britain on January 20, 2016.