A Staten Island man was busted Thursday after police discovered thousands of dollars in untaxed cigarettes in his van, law enforcement sources said.
Michael Zekry, 67, was stopped in New Springville by police who were on his tail for several months, and busted him with over 2,500 cartons of untaxed cigarettes, according to a criminal court complaint.
Police had been keeping tabs on him since May 2014, but it wasn’t immediately clear what prompted the investigation.
Zekry was found inside a Ford Econoline van parked outside his home around 12:30 a.m. on Field Street and Forest Hill Road with the contraband, according to the criminal court complaint.
He admittedly boasted of his earnings to police, and told investigators he peddled the smokes across Staten Island and Brooklyn about every 10 weeks, the documents charge.
“I go to Virginia every 10 weeks, I make $5,000 to $7,000 on a load, a carton sells between $40 to $50, you got a good one! I’m out of business now,” he told arresting officers.
After cops executed a search warrant for his home, they uncovered 500 more cartons of untaxed cigarettes, the documents state.
That’s approximately 517,200 loose cigarettes.
If Zekry had sold the smokes, it would have resulted in a $150,000 loss in city and state tax revenue, authorities said.
He has been charged with tax fraud for peddling the tax-free smokes, which is considered a felony offense, law enforcement sources said.
He faces up to four years in prison if convicted.
In July, Eric Garner tragically died after cops put him in an illegal choke-hold when they tried to place him under arrest for selling untaxed cigarettes.
Just posting this stupid, scribbledy comic for everyone who commented and sent me notes after I responded to that ask the other day. I didn’t mean to make a thing of it - I just couldn’t resist replying with snark to something so abrasively nonsensical. Nevertheless, I ended up with an inbox full of kind/funny messages and, well, let’s just say a self-help book penned by Jack Handey himself couldn’t have done a better job of being that uplifting, bizarre and hilarious. I just wanted to say thanks for making me laugh.
So, I learned today that “Baptists and Bootleggers” is shorthand/slang for diametrically-opposed groups supporting the same thing for their own reasons. (Evangelical groups wanted to ban Sunday liquor sales on moral grounds, bootleggers wanted a bigger market.)
But all I could think was that “Baptists and Bootleggers” sounds like a fantastic RPG set in 1920s New Orleans.
These questions get to the heart of the issue at hand: Whose life is it anyway? If your life belongs to you, then you are free to decide how you deal with emergencies such as fire, injury, or crime. It is in your hands and no one has the right to take that away from you. If your life does not belong to you, then you are a slave whose life is in the hands of agents of the state. These agents have no interest in keeping you alive, or your possessions safe, beyond what they can extract from you through the force or fraud of state power, namely taxation.
Decided to revisit this idea with a little remix, based on something I made a while back.
It’s a much bigger book than Volume 1 - both in dimension (so that the art has room to breathe) and in length. More colorful on the inside too. I’ll post some photos of it shortly.
———————— For anyone considering placing an order from overseas, I do apologize for the absurdity of the shipping costs. I don’t have any control over that, unfortunately, but I am seeking European distribution to try to bypass it. (I’m open to suggestions too, if anyone happens to know who their favorite comic shop in France or the UK orders through).
On this day in 1933, Prohibition officially ended in the United States upon the ratification of the 21st Amendment to the Constitution. Utah was the final state to ratify the amendment, and this gave the measure the required 75% of state approval. The 21st Amendment repealed the 18th Amendment of 1920 which had imposed Prohibition, which banned alcohol in the United States. The amendment was the result of a lobbying campaign by conservative Protestants of both parties who argued that alcohol was debilitating to both health and morality. The prohibition movement stemmed from long-running temperance campaigns against alcohol in the nineteenth-century. The alcohol ban raised considerable protest, and led many to brew their own bootleg alcoholic drinks which in turn gave rise to an increase in organised crime and the power of gangsters like Chicago’s infamous Al Capone. As well as widespread opposition, the Great Depression contributed to the end of Prohibition as the ban withheld sorely needed tax revenue from the government during that economic crisis. The momentous passage of the 21st Amendment marked the only time in American history when one amendment has overturned another.
Some photos of the Volume 2 book. Like I mentioned, it’s quite a bit bigger, both in length and dimension. That makes for a potentially annoying mismatch between volumes, but I think it’s otherwise an improvement in readability and art display. (The dust jacket is a proof, so the colors look a bit dull. The final product will be more vibrant and glossy with spot UV like the Volume 1 cover.)