Authorities confiscate load of low-tax cigarettes

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - Authorities have seized a truck load of low-tax cigarettes they think was intended to be used to supply Indian nation smoke shops in the Tulsa area.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers and agents from the Oklahoma Tax Commission confiscated 51,000 packs of low-tax cigarettes from the truck, which commission spokeswoman Paula Ross told the Tulsa World was stopped on Interstate 40 west of Warner on Dec. 9.

Ross says authorities have not verified the exact destination of the truck, but that troopers discovered notations in the vehicle that read "Crkwhsle" and Sac and Fox, which led them to believe the cigarettes were being taken to the Sac and Fox and Creek Nation Wholesale.

Under a compact with the state, the Sac and Fox Nation is allowed to operate stores that sell low-tax cigarettes. The Creek Nation has no compact with the state, but some Creek-licensed stores have sold low-tax cigarettes in the past.

Messages left by the newspaper with Sac and Fox Nation Principal Chief George Thurman and the Creek Nation were not returned.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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