Why One Ulster County Smoke Shop Lost License to Sell Tobacco Products
Kingston smoke shop was raided by authorities and is no longer allowed to sell any tobacco products.
On Wednesday, August 17th, a well-coordinated raid at four different New York smoke shops led to all four locations losing their license to sell tobacco products and two alleged owners being arrested.
Thousands of Toabcoo Products Seized
According to News 10, authorities seized 74 cartons of pre-rolled untaxed cigarettes, more than 14 cartons of out-of-state untaxed cigarettes, 10,675 untaxed cigars, and about 565 pounds of untaxed loose tobacco, 13 roll-your-own machines, and 57 pounds of illegal cannabis.
Kingston Smoke Shop Busted
One of the shops that were raided is located in the Kingson Plaza in Kingston, New York. Smoke Shop of Jing Inc., located at 214 Kingston Plaza Road, was searched on Wednesday by state police and tax officials, and after searching, authorities arrested the owner of the smoke shop 33-year-old Jing Yang. Yang was charged with possession of untaxed cigarettes. He was arrested and released with an appearance ticket returnable to the City of Kingston Court on September 21, 2022.
Three Other New York Smoke Shops Busted
Authorities also raided 3 other smoke shops further north of the Hudson Valley including Smoke Shop Huang Inc, 1554 Central Avenue, Albany; Smoke Shop of Mei Inc, 365 Feura Bush Road, Glenmont; and Rolling R Inc, 564 Hoosick Street, Troy, NY. All four smoke shops lost their licenses to sell any and all tobacco products. One owner of those shops, 44-year-old Yuqing Huang, was charged with two felonies, first-degree criminal possession of cannabis and first-degree criminal sale of cannabis. He was also charged with possession of untaxed cigarettes and untaxed cigars.
Amanda Miller, Commissioner of Taxation and Finance told News 10, "Those who evade our cigarette and tobacco tax laws deprive communities and the state of revenue needed for vital services and put honest businesses at a competitive disadvantage. We’ll continue to work with all our law enforcement partners, including the New York State Police, to bring tax criminals to justice."