May 15, 2012
Three Virginia men and a New York man have been sentenced in a cigarette smuggling case.
Federal prosecutors say 30-year-old Pulin Amin and 23-year-old Divyeshkumar Desai, both of Fredericksburg, and 52-year-old Vijay Patel of Spotsylvania sold cigarettes to out-of-state smugglers, including 30-year-old Amadou Diallo of Bronx, N.Y.
Patel received a three-year, 10-month sentence and Amin was sentenced to one year and 10 months. They will pay more than $5 million in restitution. Patel also will forfeit $625,000.
Diallo was sentenced to two years and six months and Desai received a nine-month sentence. They will pay more than $3 million in restitution.
They were sentenced Monday in federal court in Charlottesville.
U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy says contraband cigarette operations have an unfair and illegal advantage over legitimate competitors.