A Manhattan federal court has granted a preliminary injunction barring a shipping company from transporting cigarettes that do not bear New York State and New York City tax stamps, according to Michael A. Cardozo, NYC corporation counsel; David M. Frankel, NYC finance commissioner; and Thomas A. Farley, NYC health commissioner.
In the first ruling of its kind, Federal District Court Judge Jesse M. Furman of the southern district of New York found that transporting cigarettes on which applicable taxes have not been paid violates the federal Contraband Cigarette Trafficking Act when the carrier is aware of the nature of the shipments.
The court found that NYC was likely to prove that Regional Integrated Logistics violated the CCTA, after investigations demonstrated that the Buffalo, N.Y.-based shipping and warehousing company, operating under the name Regional Parcel Services or RPS, had been transporting large quantities of untaxed cigarettes to NYC. The cigarettes were sold by upstate mail order or Internet sellers of untaxed cigarettes, one of which was also targeted in tandem with RPS.
“This victory demonstrates that we are going after every single component of the illegal cigarette industry,” Frankel said in a written statement.