Man Indicted for Illegal Cigarette Trafficking
By WestKyStar Staff
BOWLING GREEN, KY - A Russell Springs, Kentucky man was indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury meeting in Bowling Green, Wednesday on a charge of conspiracy to engage in contraband cigarette trafficking.
David J. Hale, United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky announced that 46-year-old David B. Cooper is charged with possession and receipt of more than 10,000 contraband cigarettes that did not have the applicable state excise tax stamps. This occured between March and August 2007 in Russell County, Kentucky and elsewhere, while Cooper was owner and operator of DS Marketing, LLC.
The indictment also alleges that between March and August 2007, Cooper’s company was an unlicensed tobacco distribution company that sold and shipped unstamped cigarettes to retail customers, primarily through mail order and telephone. Because of this, Cooper and his co-conspirators defrauded the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and other states, of approximately $97,487.80 in state excise, sales, and use taxes, including approximately $43,241.97 that involved the sale of unstamped cigarettes manufactured by Cooper’s company Tantus Tobacco, LLC, located in Russell Springs, Kentucky.
If convicted at trial, Cooper faces no more than five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and a three year period of supervised release. He is scheduled to appear before Magistrate Judge H. Brent Brennenstuhl, in Bowling Green, on October 9th.