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Troopers arrest man with $26K worth of tobacco

Jessica Cuffman • Aug 27, 2014 at 2:38 PM

A trooper from the Swanton post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol stopped a Chevy Express van at the turnpike plaza near Woodville at about 3 p.m., after discovering the license plate number didn’t match the description of the vehicle to which it was registered, Sgt. Robert Sellers said.

The driver, Mohammed Zoubi, 37, of Norridge, Ill., and the passenger, Adrian Jacobo, no age given, from Mexico, had no plausible explanation for why they were carrying cases of miniature cigars lacking required tax stamps.

“The van was loaded from the front to the back with Swisher Sweets and White Owl cigars,” Sellers said.

Each packet of tobacco is required to carry a stamp that shows it has been properly taxed.

Finding boxes upon boxes that lacked those markings, troopers summoned help from department of taxation agents to investigate the contraband. In total, they seized 10 cases of Swisher Sweets and 95 cases of White Owls.

Zoubi, as the driver, was charged with distribution of tobacco with intent to sell and consent to transport tobacco without a permit. He was booked into the Sandusky County jail early Saturday morning and he is scheduled to appear in Sandusky County Common Pleas Woodville court Tuesday morning, Sellers said.

Jacobo, a Mexican national, was taken into custody by U.S. Border Patrol agents on an immigration violation. Where he was taken or where he is now remains unknown.

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