3 plead guilty to smuggling 620,000 cartons of cigarettes from Missouri to New York

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Three Canadian men have pleaded guilty to their roles in a $17 million scheme that smuggled 620,000 cartons of cigarettes from Kansas Cit to New York.

Federal prosecutors said Thursday the three were among 18 people charged in Kansas City with illegally shipping the cigarettes to avoid New York’s excise tax of $4.35 per pack.

The cigarettes were sold mostly on American Indian reservations, costing the state of New York more than $8 million in lost revenue.

Forty-two-year-old Mark Bishop and 43-year-old Piotr Hoffmann, both of Montreal, pleaded guilty Thursday to aiding and abetting contraband cigarette trafficking.

Bishop’s brother, 46-year-old David Bishop, of Montreal, pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and contraband cigarette trafficking