Pikesville man pleads guilty in contraband cigarette conspiracy

A Pikesville man pleaded guilty Friday to a conspiracy to traffic contraband cigarettes, evading more than $1 million in taxes in the process. 

According to his guilty plea, 59-year-old Adam Azerman conspired with others to receive, sell and distribute contraband cigarettes in Brooklyn, New York. He took the cigarettes from Maryland to New York without paying applicable sales taxes. 

Once in New York, Azerman handed over the keys to his van to a co-conspirator who unloaded the cigarettes at a nearby warehouse. The partner returned the van several hours later. 

The group in Maryland bought contraband cigarettes 18 different times between December 2011 and November 2013 from an undercover FBI agent in Baltimore County, according to the guilty plea.

The transactions involved thousands of cartons of cigarettes. At the time of the indictment, cigarette tax in Maryland was $2 a pack, or $20 a carton, and in New York it was $4.35 a pack, or $43.50 a carton. The total tax amount exceeded $1 million.

Azerman is facing a maximum of five years in prison. His sentencing is scheduled to take place at 1 p.m. Sept. 11.

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