Routine Traffic Stop Leads to Smuggled Cigarette Bust - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Routine Traffic Stop Leads to Smuggled Cigarette Bust

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Berlin police provided these photos of the cartons of cigarettes seized during a Monday night traffic stop. Berlin police provided these photos of the cartons of cigarettes seized during a Monday night traffic stop.

BERLIN, Md. (WBOC) - Police say a traffic stop in Worcester County led to a large cigarette smuggling bust Monday night.


Berlin police say an officer stopped a vehicle for speeding at US 113 and Burley Street. The driver, 30-year-old Nasser Othman of Clifton, N.J. was driving a rental car that police said he was not authorized to drive.

"Those cigarettes were untaxed and transported into Maryland from the state of Virginia," said Lieutenant J.D. Lawson, of Berlin Police.

During the traffic stop, police say four cases of cigarettes were clearly visible on the back seat. Agents from the Maryland Comptroller's Office were called in and seized 502 cases, or 5,020 packs, of various brand cigarettes as well as the vehicle.

"The problem with transporting on text cigarettes into the state is that it is a lost to the economy," said Lieutenant Lawson.

Police said the retail value of the cigarettes is estimated at $32,279 and a Maryland tax loss of $1,040.

"That cost is sent on to the consumer," said Lieutenant Lawson. Evelyn McCray works at a gas station in Berlin, and said "some of the people turn away and say they don't want the cigarettes because of the price, and some of them go ahead and buy it anyway."


Othman was arrested and charged with importing and possessing unstamped cigarettes.

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