Another sentenced in cigarette case

SEATTLE — A 60-year-old man has been sentenced to nine months in federal prison and ordered to pay more than $20 million in restitution for his role in a conspiracy to sell untaxed cigarettes.

United States District Judge James Robart sentenced Robert Stuber on Monday, Dec. 14, for conspiring to sell contraband cigarettes through his businesses, Cowlitz Candy & Tobacco Co. of Longview.

More than one million cartons of Cowlitz’s untaxed cigarettes were sold to the Blue Stilly Smoke Shop in Arlington between January 2005 and May 2007. Neither business paid the necessary $20 million in state taxes, according to a release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office Monday, Dec. 14.

Stuber’s company was paid more than $17 million for the untaxed cigarettes.

Robart said Stuber “was an integral part in the conspiracy to traffic in contraband cigarettes” and that “his good judgement was overcome by money,” according to the release.

Stuber pleaded guilty to money-laundering and conspiracy charges in February.

Three former Stillaguamish Tribal members Eddie Goodridge Jr. his father Edward Goodridge and Sara Lee Schroedl are currently in federal prison for their role in the scheme, in which the three residents avoided paying about $25 million in taxes, according to the release.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation and the Washington State Liquor Control Board.

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