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Man gets year in prison for smuggling cigarettes from Missouri

A Chicago man has been sentenced to a year in prison after pleading guilty to smuggling black market cigarettes into Illinois from Missouri.

Johnell E. Henderson, 36, was arrested May 15, 2013, after a traffic stop by Illinois State Police, according to a statement from the Illinois Department of Revenue.

Henderson was caught with about 1,470 packages of Newport 100 cigarettes, bought in Missouri, the department said. IDOR agents determined he was not authorized to possess or transport the cigarettes.

He was sentenced to a year after pleading guilty to felony cigarette smuggling, according to the statement.

“I am pleased to see that the courts take cigarette smuggling as seriously as we do,” state Director of Revenue Connie Beard said in the statement. “When black market cigarettes are sold in Illinois, not only does the state get cheated out of significant tax revenues, our law-abiding retailers lose sales.”

Henderson has been held at the Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill since Tuesday, according to IDOC records. He was previously sentenced to four years for a 2005 narcotics conviction.