New York City Police Department

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Press Release | NO. 2003-027

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Press Release # 027
Monday, March 31, 2003

New York City Police Department Announces 3 Arrests And Seizure Of 97,000 Packs Of Counterfeit Cigarettes During Takedown In Queens And Brooklyn

The New York City Police Department today announced the arrests of three people during the takedown of a counterfeit-cigarette operation on Friday, March 28, based in Queens and Brooklyn. Police also executed search warrants that led to the seizure of more than 97,000 packs of counterfeit cigarettes worth a street value of $727,500.

"These individuals tried to make money selling cases of cigarettes marked with counterfeit tax stamps. But we discovered their illegal enterprise and brought them to justice," said Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly. "Our officers in the joint-agency operation did a great job of gathering evidence and making these arrests. I commend them for their hard work."

Members of the NYPD's Vice Special Investigations Team and Cigarette Interdiction Team and the State Attorney Generals Office launched the investigation when it learned of a cigarette counterfeiting operation based in Flushing, Queens, and Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Officers arrested the following people without incident on Friday: Jia Yun Wang, 37; Sheng Chen, 35; and Jian Ming Zhang, 45. All have been charged with trademark counterfeiting, forgery, and possession of illegal cigarettes and counterfeit tax stamps.

After gathering sufficient evidence through surveillance equipment, officers executed search warrants on Friday at 54-11 152nd Street in Queens, 168 48th Street and 534 63rd Street in Brooklyn, and a truck that was used to transport the cigarettes. In all, they seized 194 cases of cigarettes that were stamped with counterfeit tax stamps. Police also seized $2,214 in cash.

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