Cigarettes Seized - NY to return seized Native American cigarettes

Buffalo, New York (AP) August 2010

New York state says it will return a truck full of untaxed cigarettes that was seized by taxing agents as it made deliveries between two Seneca Indian Nation reservations.

State Taxation and Finance spokesman Brad Maione said that while July 9th stop and seizure were legal, a review of the facts led to the decision to return Seneca businessman Aaron Pierce’s truck and its contents. Maione did not elaborate.

The timing of the seizure puzzled members of the western New York tribe, coming weeks before the Sept. 1 date set by the state to begin taxing cigarettes sold by Native American retailers to non-Indian customers.

President Barry Snyder said last week that tribal legal advisers were seeking an explanation from Gov. David Paterson.




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