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$300,000 of Tobacco Seized At Border

Release Date: 
April 2, 2015

LEWISTON, N.Y. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Lewiston port of entry seized loose-leaf tobacco valued at more than $300,000.

loose leaf tobacco seized by CBP Officers at Lewiston POE

Boxes of loose-leaf tobacco seized at Lewiston Port of Entry

On December 10, 2014, CBP officers encountered a tractor trailer outbound at the Lewiston Bridge which was selected for secondary examination.  The manifest listed the cargo as toys from Massachusetts.  An inspection of the trailer revealed boxes of loose-leaf tobacco located behind pallets of toys.  A subsequent investigation led by Homeland Security Investigators revealed that the tobacco was being smuggled out of the U.S. into Canada to avoid paying applicable Canadian duties.

“CBP is the last line of defense in the export control process,” said Joseph Draganac, acting CBP port director for the Port of Buffalo. “CBP uses its authority to inspect, search, detain and seize goods being exported illegally.”

"Smugglers who think that our ports of entry are an easy target for contraband are seriously mistaken," said Michael Kennedy, acting special agent in charge of HSI Buffalo." HSI is committed to our partnership with CBP to aggressively protect the integrity of our nation's borders.”

On April 1, the shipment was seized for exportation contrary to law.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017