On October 18, 2012 at approximately 4:47 PM Pocomoke City Police Officers conducted a routine traffic stop on Route 13 for speeding. Upon contact with the driver identified as Yossef Dahan of Brooklyn, New York and a front seat passenger Ofer Biton, of Israel, the Officer issued the driver a citation for speeding (73mph in a 55mph zone). While processing the citation a consent to search was received by driver, the vehicle search was requested due to having large cardboard boxes in the rear seat area covered with trash bags which showed several cartons of cigarettes sticking out. Upon a search of the vehicle over 380 cartons of untaxed cigarettes were confiscated as well as approximately $2,000 in U. S. Currency. Both the driver and passenger were arrested and charged accordingly and the vehicle was towed by Pocomoke City Police to perform a complete inventory search.
The Pocomoke City Police contacted the Maryland State Comptroller’s Office to assist with the investigation.
On October 18, 2012 at approximately 7:10 PM Pocomoke City Police received a phone tip on an individual purchasing large amounts of cigarettes. Upon checking with the Store Manager and receiving a vehicle description the vehicle was spotted traveling from Virginia and proceeding into Maryland on Route 13. The vehicle was observed willfully driving at a slow speed which was impeding the normal flow of traffic. A traffic stop was conducted and the driver was identified as Lion Forst of Wilkes Barre, PA. In plain view on the rear seat were large quantities of untaxed cigarettes. Forst was placed under arrest and charged accordingly.
Further inventory of the vehicle revealed 481 cartons of untaxed cigarettes. The Pocomoke City Police contacted the Maryland State Comptroller’s Office to assist with the investigation.
Arrested and charged as Adults are as follows:
Yossef Dahan, Age 59, Brooklyn, New York
Ofer Biton, Age 41, Israel
Lion Forst, Age 43, Wilkes Barre, PA
Charges: Transportation of Untaxed Cigarettes
Contraband Possession w/intent to deliver
Both Defendants are currently being held by the Maryland State Comptroller’s Office.
Chief K D Sewell
Pocomoke City Police Department
October 19, 2012