BARAGA, Mich. (AP) – An Upper Peninsula man accused of large-scale cigarette trafficking has pleaded guilty in Detroit federal court.
John Varline admitted buying more than 300,000 cigarettes from an undercover agent in 2009. The cigarettes were shipped from Nevada and were illegal because they didn’t bear a stamp confirming that Michigan’s $2-a-pack tax had been paid.READ MORE: 133,000 People Remain Under Boil Water Advisory In Michigan, Could Take Weeks Before Water Is Safe To Drink
Varline appeared in court Thursday. He’ll likely face a sentence of 10 months in prison when he returns on June 16.READ MORE: Salvation Army Collecting Supplies For Back To School Drive
Starting in 2006, agents have been investigating cigarette trafficking by several people associated with the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community and a store on the reservation, Keweenaw Bay Outfitters. Varline operated the store in Baraga.
An indictment against Varline says untaxed cigarettes were sold at the store and elsewhere across the U.S.MORE NEWS: Detroit Police Searching For Multiple Carjacking Suspects
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