LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- Federal authorities have arrested more than 40 people in an undercover sting aimed at stopping the sale and distribution of contraband cigarettes to evade paying taxes on them.
Officials with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said in a statement that 50 warrants were issued as part of the sting, which involved several agencies, including the Georgia Attorney General's Office and police in Lawrenceville and Gwinnett County.
Authorities said many of the suspects are gas station owners or tobacco wholesalers. Officials said many of them were able to obtain counterfeit tax stamps for cigarettes and cigars.
ATF Atlanta Special Agent in Charge Scott Sweetow said the case involves "pure and simple organized crime."