7 more plead guilty in Ga. tobacco probe

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- Seven more people have pleaded guilty in Gwinnett County as part of a three-year investigation of an illegal tobacco ring.

Prosecutors told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday that the seven pleas bring the total convictions to 14. More than 50 people were originally charged in the case.

The Georgia attorney general's office said Saji Kurian, Talha Mumtaz, Amin Alibhai, Rashmikan Patel, Kanaiyalel Patel and Ankitkumar Patel pleaded guilty to possession of cigarettes with counterfeit stamps, and Pragnesh Patel pleaded guilty to theft by taking.

Superior Court Judge Ronnie K. Batchelor sentenced them under the first offender act to varying lengths of probation or house arrest and ordered all but one of them to pay restitution ranging from $5,000 to more than $29,000.

(Copyright 2012, The Associated Press)

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