Pa. man pleads to trafficking smokes

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) - August 26, 2009 A Pennsylvania man has pleaded guilty in federal court to buying more than $2 million of contraband cigarettes.

Bing Feng Mai of Harrisburg, Pa., pleaded guilty to one count of felony cigarette trafficking on Wednesday. Mai was arrested July 2 after a series of meetings with undercover officers in northern Virginia, during which he bought 20 million untaxed, unstamped cigarettes.

Contraband cigarettes lack required stamps for state and local taxes. In Virginia, a stamp required for each pack costs 30 cents.

Authorities also seized nearly 10 million counterfeit cigarettes Mai kept in a storage facility. The cigarettes were fake versions of Phillip Morris' Marlboro brand that were made in China.

Sentencing is set for Nov. 13. He faces up to 10 years in prison.

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