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NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 25, 2012:

 than two dozen people were arrested last week in connection with a $12 million cigarette smuggling operation based in Fayetteville, authorities said Monday.

U.S. Attorney Robert Higdon said Justin Brent Freeman and his wholesale business, FreeCo Inc., at 231 Williams St., served as a hub for the illegal operation. People would pay cash for large quantities of cigarettes at FreeCo and other retailers in North Carolina, including Sam’s Club stores in Raleigh, Fayetteville and Goldsboro, and would then pack the cigarettes into rental cars for shipment to Virginia, Higdon said.

In Richmond or Alexandria, Va., the cigarettes would be shifted to other cars and driven to Syracuse, N.Y., Higdon said. There, the contraband would again be moved to other vehicles to be dispersed across the state to be sold for cash, he said.”


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