Supplier of Contraband Cigarettes to Various Retail
Locations is Sentenced to a Three (3) Year Term in State Prison
On December 7, 2007, Terry Tolbert, supplier of contraband cigarettes to various retail locations, was sentenced to a three (3) year term in state prison and taken into custody by the Union County Sherriff’s Office. Previously, Tolbert had plead guilty to possessing cigarettes in the quantity equal to, or greater than, 2,000 cigarettes, to which are affixed counterfeit NJ Revenue stamps, a violation of NJSA 54:40A-29c, a crime of the 3rd degree, and selling cigarettes not bearing the required revenue stamp in violation of NJSA 54:40A-28, a crime of the 4th degree. Mr. Tolbert was a salesman for Tobacco Express, an unlicensed and illegitimate company whose sole business appears to be the selling of contraband cigarettes. The investigation into the entire business operation continues, federal authorities are now providing assistance.
This case was initiated by several complaints received by OCI from wholesalers in the tobacco industry regarding a company(s) sending flyers to their clients offering wholesale cigarettes well below the legal state minimum. The business names on these flyers were C&M Tobacco and Tobacco Express. These businesses were found to be unregistered with the State of New Jersey. A 6 month investigation by OCI Special Agents resulted in the arrests of two (2) individuals: Terry Tolbert and Ryan Mills, a cash seizure, and the seizure of Tolbert’s 2003 Dodge Neon. Further investigation resulted in a search warrant executed by OCI Special Agents at a storage unit rented by Tolbert, at Delta Storage, located in Bayonne, NJ, which yielded the recovery of a stolen 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee. The vehicle was turned over to its owner and additional charges were filed on Tolbert by the Jersey City P.D.’s Auto Theft Unit.