U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente announced Wednesday a Flushing man was sentenced to 18 months in prison for trafficking contraband cigarettes, resulting in a tax loss of over $1.6 million.
Thirty-one-year-old Ki Hin Lee previously pleaded guilty. Lee conspired with others to traffic cigarettes from January 2015 to November 2016. Lee traveled with a New York City resident from New York City City to Springfield and Fredericksburg to buy bulk quantities of Virginia tax-stamped cigarettes from a gas station owner. They would then take the cigarettes to Staten Island and sell them on the black market, according to court documents.
Lee became the facilitator and courier, making 46 trips from Staten Island to Virginia to purchase contraband cigarettes. He went so far as to rent a large SUV to maximize his carry capacity. It was determined that Lee smuggle about 276,000 packs of cigarettes, resulting in a tax loss of over $1.6 million.