State of Connecticut
Department of Revenue Services
For Immediate Release:
November 14, 2016
Hartford – A three-month investigation by the Department of Revenue Services (DRS) resulted today in the arrest of a Trumbull Connecticut man, the seizure of more than $53,000 in cash, 5,000 packs of cigarettes, 53,000 counterfeit Connecticut cigarette tax stamps and counterfeit U.S. postage stamps. The investigation was managed by DRS Special Agents in the Criminal Investigations Division while enforcing Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) tobacco compliance.
Said DRS Commissioner Kevin B. Sullivan, “Today DRS special agents shut down a lucrative trafficking operation that was a significant distributor of untaxed cigarette and tobacco products in Connecticut. This arrest sends a strong message to the sellers of untaxed tobacco products.”
Arrested was Kalel A. Easa of Trumbull, age 39.
DRS Special Agents served a search warrant after observing Easa leaving his residence and transferring tobacco products into his vehicle. Special agents seized $53,000 in cash from Easa and recovered 500 cartons of various cigarette brands worth approximately $50,000.
Said Commissioner Sullivan, “The trafficking of cigarettes originating from low-tax states down south to the Northeast is not only an ongoing problem and illegal, it robs Connecticut of needed tax revenue and puts the stores who are doing the right thing at an unfair disadvantage.”
The investigation is ongoing and more arrests are expected.
Easa is charged with possession or sale of untaxed cigarettes and tobacco products, and possession of fraudulent tax stamps.
A non-surety bond of $20,000 was set with a court date of November 22 in GA 2, Bridgeport.