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East Elmhurst Man Busted for Possessing $500K of Bootlegged Cigarettes

The owner of Sunnyside Mini Mart located at 41-08 48th St. was arrested Tuesday for possessing bootlegged cigarettes (Photo: QueensPost)

June 13, 2019 By Christian Murray

An East Elmhurst man who runs a minimart in Sunnyside and three other convenience stores throughout the city was busted by police Tuesday for possessing more than $500,000 in bootlegged cigarettes.

Mohammed Khan, 44, of 78th Street in East Elmhurst, was charged with grand larceny and multiple tax crimes after police conducted a court-authorized raid Tuesday morning and seized nearly 22,000 packs of cigarettes from his home. The cigarettes seized, according to the District Attorney’s office, either failed to have a New York State tax stamp or had counterfeit stamps.

The police also recovered 52,000 counterfeit stamps yet to be affixed and $177,125 in cash throughout his home.

The police searched Khan’s four businesses, including Sunnyside Mini Mart, located at 41-08 48th St., where he is listed as the president. Police seized 16 cartons of cigarettes that had counterfeit tax stamps at his Sunnyside location. Police seized a total of 115 packets of cigarettes from his two Manhattan stores and Brooklyn store combined.

Khan had been the subject of a long-term investigation that led to the search of his home and businesses.

Police arrived at his 30-58 78th St. home early Tuesday and when no one answered they forced their way in. The NYPD found a child—no more than 2 years old—alone in the house. The police then left the house through the backdoor and found Khan in an adjacent house—also owned him—wearing only his underwear hiding behind a door.

He has been charged with second- and fourth-degree grand larceny, first degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, violation of tax law, endangering the welfare of a child and possession or transportation of untaxed cigarettes with the intent to sell. He was released on his own recognizance and ordered to return to court Aug. 6.

The police also arrested Mohammed Ahmed, of 32-34 78th St. in East Elmhurst, an alleged associate of Khan’s.

Police recovered 115 cartons of cigarettes from Ahmed’s home, with all 1,150 packs bearing counterfeit tax stamps.

“Selling untaxed cigarettes is a booming business for bootleggers, who cheat both New York State and the City out of much-needed revenue,” said Acting District Attorney John M. Ryan. “The main defendant in this case allegedly padded his pockets with money. Both defendants now face prison time as a result of their alleged greed.”

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14 Comments

Oldman

When I started smoking, packs were $2.5-$3. The only thing criminal here is how packs are now $13+.
Remember when tea was overtaxed and we didn’t take that bulldoodie???? Why is that man getting in trouble for finding a solution around these taxes?

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Trump thinks him not paying taxes "makes me smart"

This dude should reach out to Trump on Twitter, he’d def help a fellow tax cheat

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JHeights my whole life

Not surprised bootleg cigarettes are more popular than ever. The higher the city raises the prices of real cigarettes the more bootleg cigarettes there will be. If a legit pack is 13$ and a bootleg pack is 10$ which one are most customers buying. Not to mention the money that could be made selling loose cigarettes for 75 cents to a dollar each. Also people buying bootlegs are not put in the statistics. In other words when you hear teens are smoking less or adults are smoking less it doesn’t factor in the thousands of bootleg cigarette sales that go unreported.

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Jackson

Good thing we got these contraband off the streets great job. He must pay these taxes. At least they aint choke this guy out

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Why should he have to pay taxes when the president doesn't?

What does he have to pay taxes. Pile Trump said, that just “makes him smart”. You got a problem with smart people?

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He wasn't being sarcastic

Then why did he immediatley backpedal anbd try to deny it?

> ” No, I didn’t say that at all. I mean if they say I didn’t, I mean it doesn’t matter. ”

Why would he have to lie about it if he was just being sarcastic? Are you THAT gullible?

What do you think he has to hide his tax returns for the first time in our nation’s history?

You’re completely unaware how giant corporations like The Trump Organization pay no taxes?!

I guess if you’re THAT naive you’d think he was sarcastic.

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COCED

no problem with smart people. with you, though…
President, if he doesn’t pay taxes (and he doesn’t on his salary that he doesn’t take), does it legally with the help of his lawyers using the loopholes that were created by the Congress. Everybody is welcome to do the same if they can.
This guy is bringing in contraband, which is not the same

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Frances Michaels

At least they “ain’t” choke this guy out ?? Your grammar ….just dandy !!

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Jackson

Microsoft office in the flesh folks. Said the guy with two exclamation points and double question marks oh nooooooo!!!!

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I agree with you Jackson, you have terrible grammar.

Jackson thanks for not denying that your horrible grammar indicates that you’re stupid. By comparing yourself to other people with terrible grammar you really drove the point home.

Sorry your feelings got hurt.

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