COLONIE – State Police and Tax Department investigators searched four local smoke shops on Wednesday, Aug 17 that led to the arrest of the owners for untaxed tobacco and cannabis.
The search warrants were executed at Smoke Shop Huang Inc. on 1554 Central Avenue, Smoke Shop of Mei Inc, on 365 Feura Bush Road, Glenmont, Smoke Shop of Jing Inc, 214 Kingston Plaza Road, Kingston, and Rolling R Inc, 564 Hoosick Street, Troy.
Investigators seized 74 cartons of pre-rolled untaxed cigarettes, more than 14 cartons of out-of-state untaxed cigarettes, 10,675 untaxed cigars, nearly 565 pounds of untaxed loose tobacco, 13 roll-your-own machines, and 57 pounds of illegal cannabis.
Each of the four locations also lost its license to sell cigarette and tobacco products.
Yuqing Huang, 44, of Albany, was arrested and charged with criminal possession of cannabis and criminal sale of cannabis, both felonies. Huang was also charged with misdemeanor possession of untaxed cigarettes and untaxed cigars. He’s expected to appear in Colonie Town Court on Wednesday, Sept 14.
Jing Yang, 33, was arrested and charged with possession of untaxed cigarettes. He’s expected to appear in City of Kingston Court on Wednesday, Sept 21.
“Those who evade our cigarette and tobacco tax laws deprive communities and the state of revenue needed for vital services and put honest businesses at a competitive disadvantage,” Acting Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Amanda Hiller said in a release. “We’ll continue to work with all our law enforcement partners, including the New York State Police, to bring tax criminals to justice.”