ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Four Capital Region smoke shops have lost their licenses to sell cigarette and tobacco products after large amounts of untaxed tobacco and cannabis were reportedly found at each location. Two people were also arrested and charged in connection with the incidents.

On August 17, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance and the New York State Police executed search warrants at these four smoke shops:

  • Smoke Shop Huang Inc, 1554 Central Avenue in Albany
  • Smoke Shop of Mei Inc, 365 Feura Bush Road in Glenmont
  • Smoke Shop of Jing Inc, 214 Kingston Plaza Road in Kingston
  • Rolling R Inc, 564 Hoosick Street in Troy

Investigators reportedly seized 74 cartons of pre-rolled untaxed cigarettes, more than 14 cartons of out-of-state untaxed cigarettes, 10,675 untaxed cigars, about 565 pounds of untaxed loose tobacco, 13 roll-your-own machines, and 57 pounds of illegal cannabis.

Arrests

  • Yuqing Huang, 44, was charged with:
    • First-degree criminal possession of cannabis (felony)
    • First-degree criminal sale of cannabis (felony)
    • Possession of untaxed cigarettes and untaxed cigars
  • Jing Yang, 33, was charged with:
    • Possession of untaxed cigarettes

Huang is set to appear in Colonie Town Court on September 14. Yang is expected to appear in the City of Kingston Court on September 21.

“Those who evade our cigarette and tobacco tax laws deprive communities and the state of revenue needed for vital services and put honest businesses at a competitive disadvantage,” said Acting Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Amanda Hiller. “We’ll continue to work with all our law enforcement partners, including the New York State Police, to bring tax criminals to justice.”