Illinois men face sentencing for cigarette smuggling

JOLIET, Ill. (AP) — Two Chicago men face sentencing next month after being convicted of smuggling 4,000 packs of cigarettes over state lines.

Sentencing is set for Oct. 8 for 71-year-old Ellis M. Cowart and 65-year-old Horace C. Mackey.

The (Joliet) Herald-News reports the men were found guilty last week during a bench trial in Will County.

Judge Edward Burmila found the pair guilty of possession and transportation of contraband cigarettes. They face up to five years in prison.

The judge acknowledged the men were trying to give their neighbors a break from what the judge himself called “onerous taxes” when they were pulled over in Will County with the cigarettes with Missouri tax stamps.

Defense attorney Cosmo Tedone says neither man has a significant criminal record.