PORTLAND, Maine — An Alfred man caught red-handed in April 2010 selling bootlegged cigarettes from Europe out of the trunk of his car was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine Tuesday in U.S. District Court.
Donald Barbour, 62, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Nancy Torrensen, according to information available on the court’s electronic case filing system.
He waived indictment in March on the federal possession of contraband cigarettes charge and pleaded guilty to possession of more than 350 cartons of contraband cigarettes purchased online from the Ukraine, according to court documents.
Portland police received a complaint of a man selling cigarettes from the trunk of his car on April 12, 2010, and watched as Barbour sold three cartons of Marlboro cigarettes to an individual.
When approached, Barbour told investigators that he had been selling cigarettes from the trunk of his car since 2006, that he paid approximately $21 per carton and that he sold the cartons for $35.
Portland police seized 82 cartons of cigarettes from the trunk of Barbour’s car on the day he was arrested for selling tobacco products without a license and two days later he turned over 276 cartons of cigarettes from his home, according to court documents.
After Homeland Security investigators took control of the investigation, the state charges were dropped, Tamara Getchell, spokeswoman for the Cumberland County district attorney’s office, said Tuesday.
Barbour was charging his customers around $30 less per carton than retail for name-brand cigarettes such as Marlboros, more than $15 a carton less for generic cigarettes, and still making a profit, according to court documents.
He faced up to five years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Torrensen also ordered that Barbour pay a $100 special assessment, which makes the total fine $1,100.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Conley prosecuted the case and Barbour’s attorney was Gordon Ayer of Kennebunk.
BDN reporter Judy Harrison contributed to this story.