An Independence business owner plead guilty in federal court on Friday to charges of participating in a conspiracy to commit wire fraud and contraband cigarette trafficking. According to the United States Attorney for the Western District, Craig Sheffler, 45, admitted to transporting hundreds of thousands of cartons of contraband cigarettes from the Kansas City area to New York where they were sold on Indian reservations.
He reportedly purchased the items from undercover agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and then sold them in New York without paying the proper taxes.
Sheffler will forfeit more than $599,000 to the government from his company, Cheap Tobacco Wholesale in Independence. He will be formally sentenced at a later date.