RICHMOND, Va. -- July 3, 2012 --
Yesterday, law enforcement officers from several agencies led by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department seized nearly 30,000 cartons of counterfeit Marlboro® cigarettes in Los Angeles. Other counterfeit goods, including counterfeit tax stamps, were also seized. Philip Morris USA (PM USA) supported the operation and the year-long investigation that led to the seizures.
"The sale of counterfeit cigarettes defrauds adult smokers who believe they are buying genuine Marlboro® cigarettes,” said Joe Murillo, vice president and associate general counsel, Altria Client Services, speaking on behalf of PM USA. “Philip Morris USA thanks the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for its diligence and dedication in working to combat counterfeit cigarettes. PM USA will continue to combat illicit cigarette sales by supporting law enforcement investigations like these."
PM USA believes that Los Angeles is one of the top markets for counterfeit cigarette activity in the US. Counterfeit cigarette sales are often driven by crime syndicates. The cigarettes seized would have cost over $500,000 in federal and state tax revenue. For more information on the LASD law enforcement actions, click here.
Philip Morris USA is an operating company of Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE: MO). More information on PM USA and its policies and positions on tobacco issues is available at www.philipmorrisusa.com