2 Plead Guilty To Illegally Making Cigarettes On Reservation

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Two people have pleaded guilty in federal court to illegally manufacturing cigarettes on the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation.

Officials said 48 year old Jody Swamp, of Hogansburg, and 53 year old Robert Oliver, Sr., of Burke, New York, entered the pleas in U.S.  District Court in Utica.

Both pleaded guilty to manufacturing cigarettes without filing the bond and obtaining the required permit as well as failure to maintain records concerning the shipment, receipt, sale, and distribution of cigarettes.

Under the plea bargain deal, Swamp and Oliver face between 24 and 30 month in prison, followed by supervised release for 3 years, a fine of up to $250,000 and forfeiture of $5 million (with $1 million to be paid by  the time of sentencing). 

Sentencing  is scheduled for August 3, 2013

The defendants were released on their own recognizance pending sentencing.

Swamp and Oliver admitted that between July of 2010 and October of 2011, they made cigarettes on Akwesasne without the required permit and failed to pay the federal excise tax of approximately $10 for each carton of cigarettes produced.  

The pair had scores of shipments exceeding 10,000 cigarettes made to locations elsewhere in New York and to Florida and Maine.

At least 2,556 cases totaling 76,680 cartons of unlicensed cigarettes were shipped from a property on Frogtown Road on Akwesasne.  

The $5 million forfeiture represents the amount of profit realized by the defendants from their illegal cigarette manufacturing.   

Wednesday, July 30, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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