Authorities discover more than 5,000 untaxed cigarettes in western Queens: DA

Queens DA Richard Brown (third from l.) stands with other members of the NYPD and Queens DA's office as he shows off some of the 5,000 untaxed cartons of cigarettes seized at an apartment in Woodside and a video store and garage in Jackson Heights. Photo courtesy Queens DA
TimesLedger Newspapers
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like TimesLedger on Facebook.

A Woodside man was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court last Thursday on counterfeiting and other charges after NYPD officers allegedly found 5,000 untaxed cartons of cigarettes and $96,000 in cash at his residence and at two locations in Jackson Heights, the Queens district attorney’s office said.

Abdus Shahed, 31, of 68th Street near Woodside Avenue, faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted, the DA said.

Investigators found Shahed’s alleged stash Nov. 16 during a search into the sale of untaxed and counterfeit cigarettes, the DA said. The investigators allegedly found the cartons and cash in both Shahed’s apartment, a garage at 35th Avenue and 71st Street in Jackson Heights and a video store at 74th Street and Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights, the DA said.

Of the 5,000 cartons of cigarettes found, about 1,700 were counterfeit, the DA said.

“The counterfeit cigarettes recovered in the course of this investigation pose an even greater health risk than most because they have bypassed U.S. safety inspections and regulations,” District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement. “They are of unknown origin and thought to possess extremely high levels of tar and nicotine, while being of incredibly poor and dangerous quality.”

Brown also said cigarette bootlegging diverts tax revenue from the city and state.

Shahed was arraigned before Judge John Zoll on trademark counterfeiting, criminal possession of a forged instrument and violations of New York state tax law, the DA said.

He was held on $25,000 bail and his next court date is Dec. 13, the DA said.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4564.

Posted 1:21 am, November 22, 2011
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like TimesLedger on Facebook.

Reader feedback

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.


Do you know a hero of Queens? Nominate a person who has made a difference for the Queens Impact Awards.
Community News Group

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with the stories people are talking about in your neighborhood:

Optional: Help us tailor our newsletters to you!