For Immediate Release
Eden Prairie Man Pleads Guilty to Illegally Buying and Selling Smokeless Tobacco Products
United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger today announced the guilty plea of DMITRI SOUDAKOV, 41, for the illegal purchase and transport of smokeless tobacco. The defendant pleaded guilty on January 5, 2015, before Judge David S. Doty in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, Minn., to one count of Shipment, Transport, Receipt, Possession, Sale, Distribution and Purchase of Contraband Smokeless Tobacco.
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives-St. Paul Field Division Special Agent in Charge James C. Modzelewski stated, “The trafficking in contraband tobacco is all about the money and the substantial profits that are obtained. With our outstanding relationship with the Minnesota Department of Revenue, we are accomplishing what we are mandated to do, prosecuting these offenders and taking away their profits.”
“The transportation and sale of unstamped tobacco products is illegal and unfair to distributors and businesses who comply with the state’s tobacco laws,” said Revenue Commissioner Cynthia Bauerly. “We appreciate the collaboration with our federal partners and we take our role of enforcing these tax laws very seriously.”
According to his guilty plea and documents filed in court, on June 27, 2011, SOUDAKOV purchased at least 938 containers of contraband smokeless tobacco from a wholesaler in Chicago, Ill. The defendant purchased the smokeless tobacco free of any state taxes and intended to resell it without paying any state taxes in Illinois, Minnesota or elsewhere. SOUDAKOV knew he was not a licensed distributor, manufacturer or carrier and, therefore, was unauthorized to purchase, sell, distribute, possess or receive smokeless tobacco products.
Between April 2011 and July 2011, SOUDAKOV purchased and transported at least 4,760 containers of smokeless tobacco from Illinois to Minnesota, where he resold the products without paying any state taxes. On June 28, 2011, while transporting the containers of smokeless tobacco from the Chicago area to Minnesota, SOUDAKOV’S vehicle was stopped by law enforcement officers who discovered the containers of smokeless tobacco stashed in the rear of the vehicle.
According to his guilty plea and documents filed in court, SOUDAKOV also purchased and resold additional tobacco products without paying Minnesota state taxes. SOUDAKOV purposely evaded the payment of state taxes and is ordered to pay a total of $47,753.77 in restitution to the state of Minnesota.
This case is the result of a joint investigation conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Minnesota Department of Revenue.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Langner is prosecuting the case.
DMITRI SOUDAKOV, 41
Eden Prairie, Minn.
• Shipment, Transport, Receipt, Possession, Sale, Distribution and Purchase of Contraband Smokeless Tobacco, 1 count