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Troopers charge man with smuggling 80,000 tax-free cigarettes

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HAMMOND — Scott R. Simonds, 50, St. Johnsville, was charged by state police Saturday with the possession and transportation of nearly 80,000 unstamped cigarettes.

Mr. Simonds was stopped at a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint on Route 37 in Hammond when returning from the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation at 11:45 a.m.

Officers searched his vehicle and found 399 cartons of American Brave cigarettes, according to state police. Each carton contains 200 cigarettes.

According to state law, tax-free cigarettes purchased from a reservation are for personal use only. It is illegal to transport more than two cartons off a reservation.

The possession and transportation of more than 30,000 cigarettes is a felony.

Mr. Simonds was arraigned in Oswegatchie Town Court and taken to St. Lawrence County jail, Canton, where he was held in lieu of $2,500 cash bail.

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