Man caught with 20K packs of untaxed cigarettes

Posted at 4:54 PM, Feb 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-29 16:54:39-05

A traffic stop on I-95 led Maryland Transportation Authority Police to intercept more than 20,000 packs of untaxed cigarettes worth about $133,000.

That would have meant more than $41,000 in lost tax revenue, according to Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot.

Ammar M. Shamakh, 31, of Pikeville. N.C., was driving a 2015 Chevrolet Suburban on northbound I-95 when he was pulled over for speeding. After a brief interview, the officers located the cigarettes throughout the inside of the car.

The MDTA Police contacted the Comptroller’s Field Enforcement Division, and an agent charged Shamakh with transporting cigarettes within Maryland without the tobacco tax being paid, and illegally possessing more than 30 cartons of unstamped cigarettes.

He was also charged with speeding.

Shamakh appeared before a District Court commissioner, where $75,000 bail was set.

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