PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) _ Seven people have been arrested as part of a federal investigation into the sale of more than $1 million of contraband cigarettes in Rhode Island.
A grand jury indictment unsealed on Wednesday charges six people with conspiring to transport and sell contraband cigarettes, among other charges. A seventh person is charged with conspiracy and making false statements.
Prosecutors say the scheme involved some convenience store owners and others, who would buy tens of thousands of dollars worth of cigarettes in Virginia, where the cigarette tax is just 35 cents per pack. They would then drive the cigarettes to Rhode Island, where taxes are $3.50 per pack.
Prosecutors say the state of Rhode Island lost more than $1 million in tax revenue.