Cigarette smuggling suspect pleads guilty

Editor’s Note: The penalties for tobacco trafficking are low while the financial opporunity tobacco trafficking provides to terrorist organizations is great.

From: DelmarvaNow

Brian Shane, DelmarvaNow

West Ocean City man pleads guilty to corruption charges in massive cigarette smuggling operation.

The No. 2 man in a multimillion-dollar cigarette smuggling operation based out of West Ocean City has pleaded guilty to corruption charges and now faces prison time in New York state.

Samer Ramadan, 40, pleaded guilty June 27 to the top charge against him of enterprise corruption, according to the New York Attorney General’s Office. In a statement in open court, he admitted his role in the operation run by his brother, prosecutors said, including stating that his brother ran the enterprise.

He now faces a prison sentence of two to six years, prosecutors said.

In a 303-page indictment of the cigarette smuggling and money laundering operation, dubbed Operation Tobacco Road, prosecutors identify Samir Ramadan as the treasurer. The indictment says he focused on control and disbursement of the cash generated by the enterprise.

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