Chinese national charged with smuggling cigarettes

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – A Chinese national has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Rhode Island on charges that he illegally smuggled more than $1 million worth of counterfeit Marlboro cigarettes into the United States.

Rhode Island U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha (Nuh-ROH’-nuh) announced the indictment against 32-year-old Lin Xiao (joo) Wei (way) on Friday.

Federal prosecutors say Wei was arrested in Miami on June 4 after federal agents arranged to purchase a 20-foot cargo container containing 17 pallets of counterfeit Marlboro cigarettes.

Authorities say the shipping documentation claimed the container contained leather products. Federal agents seized the container when it arrived in Miami from China on April 27.

Prosecutors also allege Wei discussed shipping counterfeit Viagra. He’s scheduled to be arraigned on Monday.

A message was left Friday for Wei’s lawyer.


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