TUNKHANNOCK TOWNSHIP, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Pennsylvania State Police have charged two men as troopers say they had over 15,000 untaxed cigarettes in their possession.
According to PSP, on Wednesday, October 25, around 8:16 a.m. troopers initiated a traffic stop on Interstate 80 eastbound in Monroe County on a white, 2022 Toyota Camera with New Jersey registration.
Troopers say upon stopping, the driver of the vehicle, Tevon Malik Johnson, 24, and the passenger, Nemesis Familia, 24, switched seats.
State police stated when the trooper approached the vehicle he advised both men that he saw them switch seats and both admitted to switching seats due to Johnson’s driver’s license being suspended.
As stated in the affidavit, PSP observed marijuana in the middle console and the floor of the vehicle.
Troopers say they requested permission to search the vehicle, which both men agreed to. During the search police say they found a plate with marijuana residue, several joints rolled with marijuana, and a grinder filled with marijuana, a device used to crush up the drug.
Police also found 16 cell phones and when the trunk was searched around 158 cartons of untaxed cigarettes, totaling 15,967 individual cigarettes, were found without a Pennsylvania Tax stamp.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, Pennsylvania requires any person who purchases cigarettes outside the state and brings them into Pennsylvania for use to pay the Department of Revenue the appropriate cigarette excise tax and use tax.
All items found in the vehicle were seized and both Johnson and Familia were taken into custody.
Familia was arraigned and remanded to the Monroe County Prison as he wasn’t able to post $25,000 bail. He faces charges of possession of unstamped cigarettes, possession of marijuana, and several related charges.
Johnson was also arraigned and remanded to the Monroe County Prison as he was not able to post $50,000 bail. He faces felony charges of possession of unstamped cigarettes, conspiracy to possess unstamped cigarettes, and other related charges including numerous summary driving offenses.
Both men have preliminary hearings scheduled for Tuesday, November 7 at 10:00 a.m.