Hey, Can You Spare 74 Million Cigarettes?

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Cigarette pack open on table, close-up

    Smuggling a few cigarettes into California will cost you. Smuggling 74 million of them will cost you a lot.

    Avedis Djeredjian tried to avoid paying California's tobacco sales tax and was the masterminded of a ring that attempted to smuggle more than 370,000 cartons of cigarettes into the state, prosecutors said.

    It didn't work.

    Now the 41 year-old from Glendale has been sentenced to seven years in prison and fined a smoking $3.2 million dollar fine.

    According to the Daily News,

    From 2002-2005, prosecutors said, Djeredjian and others smuggled in 370,000 cartons of cigarettes, but bought California tax stamps for only 2,040 cartons. The stamps are supposed to be placed on each carton to show that taxes have been paid before they can be sold.

    Djeredjian was convicted of federal charges of conspiring to traffic in contraband cigarettes and structuring illegal financial transactions.

    Two others defendents were involved in the case but both were quitted: Djeredjian's wife Carmen Badrian, and Roobik Ohaniansaki of Glendale, the Daily News reported.