Six people were arrested over the past week in Stafford County for allegedly being part of various cigarette smuggling schemes, police said.
Sheriff’s Maj. Shawn Kimmitz said police seized nearly 1,500 cartons of cigarettes and more than $37,000 in cash during the investigations.
The most recent incident took place Tuesday, Kimmitz said. Deputy B.U. Demirci noticed someone in a Chevrolet sedan with Florida tags purchasing several cartons of cigarettes from multiple Wawa stores.
Deputies found 75 cartons in the vehicle, along with $12,000 in cash. Police later obtained search warrants for a motel and a storage locker in the county and recovered 1,200 more cartons of cigarettes and more than $18,000 in cash.
Three residents of New York — Christina Wang, 31, Qingan Liu, 29, and Qingping Liu, 32 — were all charged with possessing more than 200 cartons of cigarettes with the intent to distribute.
On June 17, deputies were alerted to possible cigarette trafficking. Deputies found the suspect vehicle carrying 212 cartons of cigarettes and $1,035 cash.
The driver, 34-year-old Zhen Pan of Philadelphia, was charged with possession with the intent to distribute more than 200 cartons of cigarettes and placed in the Rappahannock Regional Jail.
Later that morning, Kimmitz said, police received information that two men were purchasing multiple cartons of cigarettes at a local Wawa. The suspects were found in the parking lot of a McDonald’s with 70 cartons and $6,013 in cash.
Furqan Akbar, 31, of Dumfries, and Hasham Khan, 29, of Falls Church, were both charged with possession with the intent to distribute between 25 and 200 cartons of cigarettes and released on summonses.