More indictments in contraband tobacco case

Reported by: Mel Carlock
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Updated: 5/14/2013 4:53 pm
OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA) -- More indictments have been handed down in a contraband tobacco case in Mississippi.

A federal indictment has been handed down against David Brian Cooper, 48, and George Bertram, 54, both of Jamestown, Kentucky and Tantus Tobacco of Russell Springs, Kentucky, a company owned by Cooper.

In the indictment, federal authorities say the men and the business were part of an investigation into the sale of black market cigarettes in an attempt to avoid paying excise taxes in Mississippi and Kentucky.

Cooper and Tantus Tobacco were indicted for trafficking contraband cigarettes, fraud and money laundering.

Bertram is charged with trafficking contraband cigarettes and fraud.

The indictments were handed down in January of 2012, but were made public in April.

They entered pleas of not guilty during an arraignment hearing in U. S. District Court on Tuesday.

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