Hawaii Residents Part of Ring Guilty of Cigarette Trafficking

I know a person or two that orders cigarettes online to avoid state taxes.  They better be careful!

Four former leaders of the Stillaguamish Indian Tribe must pay more than $25 million to Washington state that should have been charged as taxes on cigarettes sold at the Blue Stilly Smoke Shop in Arlington…

…Sara Schroedl, a cousin of the Goodridges, also pleaded guilty to the charges…

None of the 5.3 million cigarettes found that day bore a state tax stamp, which is how vendors show that taxes have been paid. The four tribal members made at least $55 million selling tax-free cigarettes between March 2003 and May 2007 at the Blue Stilly, where smokers found tobacco products for half the price of the same products sold at shops that charged the state tax…

Schroedl said the Goodridge family asked her and her husband, Dan, who is not a tribal member, in March 2003 if they wanted to invest in the smoke shop. The smoke shop had been run for several years by Stormmy Paul, a Tulalip tribal member, but the Goodridge family told Paul to leave about the same time that they asked Schroedl to become a partner in the business.

The smoke shop was raided in 2001, when it was under Paul’s operation. Paul was convicted late last year of running a cigarette smuggling ring that stretched between South America, Asia and his home on the Tulalip Indian Reservation. He’s currently serving a one-year sentence of home detention…

Over the next four years, the Schroedl’s took in $5 million in cash, according to court documents — enough to move to Arizona, then to Hawaii, where they currently live

The Blue Stilly Smoke Shop closed only briefly after the 2007 raid, and has been open ever since. The Stillaguamish Indian Tribe earlier this year negotiated a cigarette compact with the state that includes a tax. The tax boosts the price of the cigarettes so the Blue Stilly doesn’t undercut other smoke shops that charge state tax. The compact allows the tribe to keep the money made from the tax.

Schroedl said she is still 33 percent owner of the smoke shop…

More Here and Here

"Fast" Eddie Goodridge

2 Responses

  1. I know Sara Schroedl and she certainly knew what was going on and how horrible that they were profiting so much money while so many in the tribe live in poverty! Karma is a bitch! Not so nice things happen to not so nice people.

  2. I know Sara Schroedl, and although ignorance of breaking the law does not get you a get out of jail free card, Sara did not know what was going on in the day to day running of the smoke shop. She trusted her family. I don’t understand how the Mrs. Goodridges gets house arrest and Sara gets 8 months. Even the prior owner was given house arrest, “Paul was convicted late last year of running a cigarette smuggling ring that stretched between South America, Asia and his home on the Tulalip Indian Reservation. He’s currently serving a one-year sentence of home detention…” I truly believe that sentencing was unfair.

    Also, Sara no longer lives in Hawaii, she lives in AZ.

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