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US law didn't halt cigarette flow from NY tribes

December 1, 2013
Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — When Congress passed a law in 2009 effectively banning mail-order deliveries of cigarettes, it was expected to snuff out entrepreneurs on New York's Indian reservations who were selling millions of tax-free cartons to consumers in high-tax states.

But the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act didn't stop everybody.

Shipping records were obtained by lawyers for New York City as part of a racketeering lawsuit. They show that as of last spring, one group of about 20 website operators on Seneca Nation territory was still delivering 1.7 tons of untaxed cigarettes a week to destinations around the U.S.

The city's suit is part of a wider legal battle involving cigarettes sold on Indian reservations.

Tribal leaders have long maintained that outsiders have no authority to tax anything sold on their territory.



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