Chesterfield County man charged for cigarette smuggling operation

MIDLOTHIAN, Va. (AP) — A man has been charged in a major cigarette smuggling operation in which police say he purchased more than $1 million in Virginia cigarettes over 18 months that were transported to New York and resold.

Chesterfield police Lt. James Profita said that 31-year-old Ahmed Salem Leweisy operated Chinguitty Tobacco Shop in Midlothian as a front for his operation.

Leweisy was arrested May 24, but details of the scheme haven’t been made public until recently.Profita says Leweisy made tax-free purchases of thousands of cartons of cigarettes. Instead of reselling the cigarettes at his shop and collecting the Virginia sales tax, they were shipped to northern states where taxes are so high that the cigarettes could have been illegally resold for $2.5 million or more.