Virginia man pleads guilty to trafficking cigarettes

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – A Virginia man has pleaded guilty trafficking in more than $7 million worth of cigarettes without paying sales taxes.The U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news release that 60-year-old Bernard Ekelemu of Fredericksburg entered the plea yesterday ┬áin federal court in Richmond.According to his plea agreement, Ekelemu directed another person to buy as gas station and for which he got a certificate exempting business purchases from Virginia sales and use taxes.Prosecutors say Ekelemu bought more than $7 million worth of Virginia-stamped cigarettes and sold them to traffickers. Authorities say the traffickers sold the cigarettes on the black market in New York and other areas. Ekelemu faces a maximum of five years in prison at sentencing on Aug. 16

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