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Cigarette Dealer’s Sentencing Delayed Again

This undated photo provided by the pretrial services division at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York shows Rodney Morrison. (AP Photo/U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York)

A Long Island Indian reservation smoke shop proprietor who made a fortune supplying untaxed cigarettes to the black market will have to wait to learn his sentence in a racketeering case.

Rodney Morrison was convicted of trafficking in contraband cigarettes on the Poospatuck Reservation in Mastic.


A federal judge in Central Islip began a sentencing hearing for Morrison on Thursday morning, but after hours of arguing by the lawyers he adjourned the proceedings to be concluded another day.

It could be days or weeks before the court takes up the matter again. Morrison was originally scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 25, but that hearing was postponed until Dec. 11, at which time the judge delayed the sentencing again due to demands from government officials seeking restitution for lost cigarette tax revenue.

The case has been watched closely by New York’s tribes.

Reservation shops now supply about a third of all cigarettes sold in the state.

Morrison’s case has raised questions about whether that business is legal.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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