Rhode Island brothers acknowledge smuggling cigarettes into Rhode Island from Virginia



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PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — Two men have pleaded guilty to playing roles in the smuggling of more than six million cigarettes into Rhode Island.

Authorities say the scheme cost the state more than $1 million in tax revenue.

Forty-one-year-old Wissam Khalil of Central Falls, and 49-year-old Bassam Khalil 49, of Pawtucket both pleaded guilty to fraud and other charges in U.S. District Court on Thursday.

Authorities say the cigarettes were smuggled from Virginia between July 2011 and 2013. They say the men often used a truck with Rhode Island War Veteran Plates driven by someone wearing a United States Army uniform to avoid being pulled over by police.

The brothers are scheduled to be sentenced on September 25.

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