June 22, 2024
Annapolis, US 93 F

Comptroller’s office arrests three in Eastern Shore cigarette bust

Comptroller Peter Franchot has announced that agents from his Field Enforcement Division (FED) arrested three Philadelphia men who have been charged in Maryland as a result of a surveillance operation on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

“My FED agents are dedicated to identifying criminals who try to cheat the system and use Maryland as a transportation conduit for their illegal activities,” Comptroller Franchot said. “Their vigilance protects Maryland businesses and levels the playing field for all.”

Agents said Quay Samuel Chaney, 54, was seen buying multiple quantities of cigarettes from various locations June 28 and concealing the cigarettes in the rear seat area of a 2008 Volvo. Chaney was a passenger in a car driven by Ronald Tucker, 59, and occupied by another passenger, Edward B. Johns, 65. The three then drove from Virginia into Maryland, where the car was stopped by police at Sheep House Road in Pocomoke, Worcester County.

Agents searched the vehicle and found 1,650 packs of contraband cigarettes, valued at $10,642.50 and representing a tax loss to the State of $3,300. The cigarettes and car were seized and all three were arrested.

Each man was taken before a Worcester County District Court Commissioner in Snow Hill and charged with a felony count of transporting contraband cigarettes and a misdemeanor count of possession of contraband cigarettes.

Mr. Chaney is being held on a $16,500 bond at the Worcester County Detention Center. His preliminary hearing is set for July 24. Mr. Tucker and Mr. Johns were each released on personal recognizance. Both have hearings set for July 17.

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