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Seven more indicted in smoke shop case
ARLINGTON — A grand jury in Seattle has indicted seven more people in connection with the sale of contraband cigarettes to an Arlington smoke shop.
In two different indictments, federal documents allege the group avoided paying a combined $28 million in tobacco taxes, according to a Sept. 9 U.S. Department of Justice release.
One indictment, returned last week, charged four people with conspiracy to traffic contraband cigarettes and conspiracy to launder monetary instruments to the Blue Stilly Smokey Shop in Arlington.
The indictment alleges that the defendants took steps to avoid paying more than $20 million in taxes.
A second indictment, returned last month, charged three men with conspiracy to traffic contraband cigarettes and 15 counts of trafficking contraband cigarettes. One of those men, Arthur Montour, faces additional charges for making a false declaration to federal prosecutors.
That indictment alleges the three defendants conspired to sell the Blue Stilly Smoke Shop more than 422,000 cartons of contraband cigarettes, avoiding more than $8 million in taxes.
The seven people indicted are from various parts of the United States and Canada, the release said.
The indictments are just the latest in a series of charges brought forward by investigators.
The shop was owned by three former Stillaguamish Tribal members. Former executive director of the tribe Eddie Goodridge, Jr., his father Edward Goodridge and Sara Lee Schroedl pleaded guilty to similar charges in 2008, and are currently in federal prison.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), and the Washington State Liquor Control Board conducted the investigation.