Oak Lawn man accused of smuggling cigarettes into state

From: Southtown Star

An Oak Lawn man was ordered held on $40,000 bail Wednesday for allegedly bringing cigarettes from Indiana to Illinois to sell illegally.

Deputies stopped Mohammad Nakhleh, 21, for driving a vehicle without a front license plate about 11:25 p.m. Monday in the 9500 block of South 85th Court in Hickory Hills,  a statement from Cook County sheriff’s police said. Inside the vehicle, they found 128 cartons of cigarettes with Indiana tax stamps.

Nakhleh was charged Tuesday with felony unlawful possession of more than 1,000 packs of contraband cigarettes, police said.

The Cook County Department of Revenue also has fined Nakhleh $36,000, police said.

“Cigarette tax smuggling is a lucrative black-market enterprise,” Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said in the statement. “We will continue to work with Sheriff (Tom) Dart to crack down on illegal cigarette sales and smuggling in Cook County.”

On Wednesday, Nakhleh was ordered held on $40,000 bond, police said. He will be back in court Nov. 6 in Bridgeview.


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