- Associated Press - Monday, September 21, 2015

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (AP) - Six people have been charged in West Virginia with illegal cigarette trafficking.

U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II announced the indictments Monday.

The defendants are 30-year-old Mohamed Abdo Elbarati of Winchester, Virginia; 28-year-old Farouk Mohamed Aldaylam of Queens Village, New York; 37-year-old Amir Mohamed Alsaidi of Baltimore; 37-year-old Fahd Hamood Aljahaf of Bronx, New York; and 29-year-old Galal Hameed Kassim and 25-year-old Muneer Kaid Khaled, both of Brooklyn, New York.

All are charged with conspiracy. Elbarati, Aldaylam and Alsaidi also are charged with transportation of contraband cigarettes.

The indictment says Elbarati, owner of Smoke Palace in Winchester, bought millions of dollars worth of cigarettes from wholesalers and resold them to out-of-state smugglers. The cigarettes were processed and transported in West Virginia.

Defense attorneys did not immediately respond to messages.



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