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Burke gets time for smuggling cigarettes

GREENVILLE — A Tupelo man who took part in a multi-state cigarette smuggling operation has been sentenced to 34 months in prison.

The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports Jerry Burke was sentenced Dec. 22 in U.S. District Court in Greenville.

Burke pleaded guilty in 2009 to defrauding the federal and local governments out of millions of dollars in taxes and fees because of the cigarette smuggling.

Prosecutors say Burke operated the business out of two Tupelo warehouses, which were raided in the spring of 2009, and caused the loss of tax dollars by selling untaxed tobacco products to other scheme participants.

Burke was ordered to pay $525,000 restitution to Mississippi and South Carolina.

Other defendants are awaiting court action on assorted charges.

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