At approximately 11:25 p.m. on Monday in the 9500 block of South 85th Court in Hickory Hills, Sheriff police pulled over a vehicle for not having a front license plate. After the driver consented to a search of the car, police discovered 128 cartons of cigarettes with Indiana tax stamps in his vehicle.
Mohammad Nakhleh, 21, of Oak Lawn, was charged with unlawful possession of more than 1,000 packs of contraband cigarettes, a class 3 felony. During a hearing on Wednesday morning at the Bridgeview Courthouse, the judge set Mr. Nakhleh's bond at $40,000 and scheduled his next court hearing for November 6, 2013. Mr. Nakhleh was also find $36,000 by the Cook County Department of Revenue.
Since taking office, Preckwinkle has worked with Sheriff Dart's office on enforcement efforts, making it a major focus in the 2014 budget. Since taking office, Preckwinkle has increased the number of inspections for illegal cigarette sales from 3,000 to roughly 9,000 and has issued more than 3,400 citations and collected more than $1.8 million in cigarette tax fines.