June 20, 2018
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Alfred man charged with selling contraband cigarettes from car trunk

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff

PORTLAND, Maine — An Alfred man who allegedly has been selling bootlegged cigarettes out of his car since 2006 waived indictment Thursday in U.S. District Court and pleaded guilty to possession of more than 350 cartons of contraband cigarettes.

Donald Barbour, 62, was released on $5,000 unsecured bond, according to information available on the court’s electronic case filing system.

U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Torresen set his sentencing for June 18.

By pleading guilty, Barbour admitted that from sometime in 2006 until April 12, 2010, when he was arrested by Portland police, he sold cigarettes illegally. The Alfred man purchased the cigarettes from the Ukraine by mail for $21 per carton, then sold them for $35 per carton, according to the prosecution version of the offense.

That would have saved smokers who purchased cigarettes from Barbour in most of 2009 and up until his arrest in 2010 more than $30 a carton for name-brand cigarettes such as Marlboro and more than $15 a carton for generic cigarettes.

Portland police seized 82 cartons of cigarettes from the trunk of Barbour’s car and 276 cartons of cigarettes from his home, according to court documents. He was charged in state court with selling tobacco products without a license.

Information about the status of that charge was not available Saturday.

He faces up to five years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Barbour also could owe the state of Maine and the federal government a large sum of money in cigarettes taxes. People who purchase cigarettes over the Internet or by mail on which state and federal taxes have not been paid are required by law to pay them.

Federal cigarette taxes were 39 cents per pack until April 1, 2009, when the tax increased to $1.01 per pack, according to a previously published report.

In Maine, the tax on cigarettes purchased before Sept. 19, 2005, is $1 for packs of 20 and $1.25 for packs of 25, according to information posted on the Maine Revenue Services’ website. For cigarettes purchased after Sept. 18, 2005, the tax is $2 for packs of 20 and $2.50 for packs of 25.

Information on whether Barbour has paid any state or federal cigarette taxes since his arrest was not available Saturday.

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