“The Liquor Control Board has reportedly taken possession of 500 cartons of untaxed cigarettes bound for a Pierce County smoke shop. Through information received from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, it was determined that the cigarettes were en route to Washington via United Parcel Service from Stillwater, Pennsylvania. Acting under the authority of a Superior Court search warrant, liquor enforcement agents seized the cigarettes at the UPS terminal in Fife. This is the second seizure in the past couple months where untaxed cigarettes have been intercepted, coming in from out of state, via commercial carrier, said Chief of Enforcement Rick Phillips. Washington’s cigarette tax is $8.25 per carton. The tax on the seized 500 cartons is $4,125. According to the Department of Revenue, the state loses approximately $115 million dollars due to cigarette tax evasion. Since July 1997 the Liquor Control Board has had the responsibility of enforcing the state’s tobacco tax laws. Since that time, the Board has conducted 11 large seizures of untaxed cigarettes, with a street value of $2,417,100.”
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