October 1, 2014
NEW YORK (AP) - When Congress passed a law in 2009 effectively banning mail-order deliveries of cigarettes, it was expected to snuff out entrepreneurs on New York's Indian reservations who were selling millions of tax-free cartons to consumers in high-tax states.
But the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act didn't stop everybody.
Shipping records were obtained by lawyers for New York City as part of a racketeering lawsuit. They show that as of last spring, one group of about 20 website operators on Seneca Nation territory was still delivering 1.7 tons of untaxed cigarettes a week to destinations around the U.S.
The city's suit is part of a wider legal battle involving cigarettes sold on Indian reservations.
Tribal leaders have long maintained that outsiders have no authority to tax anything sold on their territory.
Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.