I-95 is a busy interstate highway. It zips through Richmond, Virginia, and up to the crowded cities of the north-eastern US. It has long been a route for smuggling. Now I-95 is moving black-market cigarettes.
Virginia’s tobacco tax is the second-lowest in America. Therefore, gangsters buy cigarettes there in bulk. They sell them at enormous profit in New York and other high-tax states.
Sales of illegal cigarettes cost the government nearly $10 billion a year. For the smugglers, profits are better than those from drugs and guns. In addition, the penalty for doing it is much lighter than for selling drugs.
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