Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Officials: Minn. loses hundreds of thousands of dollars to smuggling


October 7, 2019

In June 2016, a Minnesota State Patrol trooper stopped this truck at a weigh station on Interstate 94 in Lakeland. Investigators found $78,017 worth of tobacco products inside, according to a Washington County criminal complaint filed against the two men who were in the truck. The men pleaded guilty in May 2017 to felony-level aiding and abetting in the sale of untaxed tobacco. Courtesy of Minnesota Department of Revenue\

ST. PAUL -- Minnesota authorities intent on recovering thousands of dollars in lost tobacco taxes have set their sights on Interstate 94, just west of the Minnesota-Wisconsin border.

Officials say smugglers have been bringing in tobacco products by the truckload from Indiana, where the tax is one-fourth of what Minnesota charges. They sell the products here to wholesalers and retailers and on the black market, and the tax is never collected.


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