Five men have been indicted by a federal grand jury for their alleged involvement in a black market cigarette exchange ring with roots in Madison County.
The initial exchange began around July 11, 2008, between Jack Mitchell Colbert and William Henry Sharrocks when the men conspired to purchase and distribute 718 cartons of unstamped cigarettes from a retail tobacco store in Madison County. The indictment report said the men continued purchasing and exchanging the untaxed cigarettes throughout the rest of the year and into 2009, when the exchange traveled to New Jersey.
Emmanuel Galaris and Rafael Emilio Dilone joined Colbert and Sharrocks' efforts to hold and transport more than $5,000 of cigarettes that had been reported stolen from North Charleston, S.C., according to the report; Galaris participated in one of the exchanges in Jan. 2009, selling 500 cases of stolen Kent Ultra Light 100 cigarettes for $300,000 in New Jersey.
Around Sept. 28, 2009, Dilone organized a trade of about 3,000 cartons of stolen Kent Ultra Light 100 cigarettes from New Jersey to Kenton County for 1,000 cartons of unstamped Marlboro cigarettes.
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On Nov. 20, 2009 Dilone organized another trade of 8,500 cartons of Kent Ultra Light 100 cigarette for 52 cases of Marlboro cigarettes from New Jersey to Kenton County.
Galaris and Young Moon Pi were indicted on charges of selling 200 cartons of Marlboro Light cigarettes with counterfeit Virginia and California tax stamps.
Transactions continued between Dilone, Galaris and Pi through Jan. 2010, the report says.
The indictment says Colbert and Sharrocks should pay restitution of nearly $85,000 they profited from the exchange and sale of the cigarettes, by evading the cigarette taxes. If convicted, all the men could face multiple years in prison, a $250,000 fine and supervised release for each charge.