CBS New York

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Bronx County District Attorney Robert Johnson announced the indictments of 20 people and six corporations on Thursday, with 1,345 charges in a cigarette smuggling operation between Virginia and the Bronx.

The arrests and indictments came as part of Operation Smoke Brake, designed to snuff out an allegedly major smuggling operation.

Defendants in the case face state felony charges including enterprise corruption, criminal tax fraud, and money laundering, as well as New York City administrative violations of cigarette tax laws.

Mohamed Mustafa, 29, allegedly ran the operation by storing cigarettes, acquired in Virginia, at locations around the Bronx.

Authorities said Hiyad Chaib, 32, assisted Mustafa in setting prices, and establishing pickup locations and times for distributors via a business phone line.

The pair are accused of acquiring the majority of the cigarettes used in the operation from Virginia residents Rabih Saba, 39, and Moeen Kahn, 46.


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