SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – California’s Attorney General filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against the United States Postal Service for delivering millions of foreign cigarettes to California residents.

Attorney General Xavier Becerra and New York City filed the lawsuit, claiming the USPS “knowingly accepted and transmitted packages through domestic mail that it had reasonable cause to believe contained cigarettes or smokeless tobacco, in violation of the Prevent All Cigarettes Trafficking Act,” according to a news released issued Tuesday morning. The lawsuit asks the USPS to put an end to these deliveries and take the necessary steps to keep it from happening in the future.

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The federal PACT Act was created in 2009 to stop contraband cigarettes from entering the United States. These cigarette-makers don’t pay taxes. In California, a pack of cigarettes has an added $2.87 in taxes; in New York City it’s $1.50, with a $4.35 tax in New York State.

According to the Attorney General’s office, California has reported illegal cigarettes to the United States Postal Service, including providing the names of the sellers, but the USPS “failed to stop them.”

In the release, Becerra said, “The California Department of Justice will remain vigilant in pursuing contraband cigarettes that are smuggled into California.”


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