Monday, April 16, 2007

City Restaurant Investigated

News reports of cigarette trafficking at Chinese restaurants gave this writer a hunch.

Looking at the full report on the U.S. Attorney’s web site, sure enough, one of the illegal sale points was a Chinese restaurant in Plainfield. It wasn’t named, but at the neighborhood restaurant it’s easy to see illicit sales of “loosies” while waiting for an order. Other local places sell these loose cigarettes in what may look like just an accommodation to street people, whose personal economy doesn’t allow buying packs or cartons of cigarettes. But estimated losses in state sales tax run into the millions when loosies are sold.

Click here for the full report.

Another common sight around Park & Seventh is young people fiddling around with small cigars. Whether or not they are replacing the tobacco with marijuana, smoking cigars is just as much of a health hazard as smoking cigarettes. And if they are using marijuana before or during school hours, is it any wonder that student performance is poor?

Underage or illicit tobacco sales may not seem reason enough to call the cops. But U.S, Attorney Christopher Christie is looking at the big picture on such issues. The investigation is ongoing and there is more to come.


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