Berlin Police Make Untaxed Cigarette Bust

Berlin Police Make Untaxed Cigarette Bust
berlin illegal cigarette bust

BERLIN — Berlin Police seized nearly 13,000 packs of unstamped, untaxed cigarettes valued at over $83,000 following a routine traffic stop on Monday.

On Monday, a Berlin Police officer conducted a traffic stop on Route 113 near Burley Street. According to police reports, the driver appeared to be extremely nervous and presented suspicious behavior to the officer during the initial contact.

The officer noticed a bed of the vehicle contained a large amount of cigarettes and a K-9 team for the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office was called to assist with the investigation. The Maryland Comptroller’s Office was also contacted to conduct a joint investigation with the Berlin Police Department.

The joint investigation revealed 1,292 cartons of unstamped, untaxed cigarettes, which translated into 12,920 packs of smokes. The value of the cigarettes was determined to be $83,334, representing a tax loss of $25,840 to the state of Maryland.

The cigarettes and the 2015 Toyota Tundra transporting them were seized by the Maryland Comptroller’s Office. The driver, identified as Bakeel Mofleh Alsayidi, 22, of Brooklyn, N.Y., was charged with possession and transportation of unstamped cigarettes and traffic violations. Alsayidi had a bail review hearing on Tuesday and was later released on a $3,000 cash bond.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

Alternative Text

Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.