From: Associated Press
by LARRY O’DELL
RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia officials have begun looking into how they can curb the growing problem of illegal cigarette trafficking.
The Virginia State Crime Commission heard a report on the issue Wednesday and will consider staff recommendations at its next meeting in November.
Stewart Petoe, the commission’s legal affairs director, said the amount of money cigarette smugglers can make is staggering.
That’s because they can buy a pack of premium smokes for about $5.55 in Virginia and sell it for a big profit in New York City, where a higher cigarette tax pushes the retail price to about $14 a pack.
Federal authorities say a truckload of 800 cases smuggled from Virginia to New York can turn a profit of $4 million. Petoe says the big money is attracting organized crime.