Auditor: Contraband-cigarette auction brings $1.9M

Published 5:34 pm Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Mississippi Auditor Stacey Pickering says the federal government is collecting significantly more than the state from Tuesday’s auction of more than 900,000 cartons of contraband cigarettes.

Pickering said in a news release that the auction in Tupelo generated $1.9 million. He said more than $1.6 million of that will go to the federal government, and Mississippi will keep $277,635.

The cigarettes were seized in two Tupelo area warehouse raids last spring.

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Of the money staying in Mississippi, 80 percent goes into the general state budget, 10 percent goes to the State Tax Commission, 8 percent goes to the auditor’s office and 2 percent is split among local law enforcement agencies such as the Tupelo Police Department and the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department.