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