Auburn smokehouse owner arrested for tax evasion | Crime and courts


The citizen staff

The second defendant wanted for tax evasion following a police raid on an Auburn smokehouse has surrendered.

Auburn police say the owner of the Auburn Smoke Shop at 67 Franklin St. attended the Auburn Police Department headquarters on North Street around 3 p.m. Friday after a warrant for his arrest was issued. issued against him.

Mohamad A. Algamal, 26, 717 Kirkpatrick St., Syracuse, was charged with evading $10,000 or more in cigarette taxes. Algamal opened the smokehouse in April 2021.

Algamal’s arrest came five days after the company’s property manager, Zakarya H. Alharbi of Newburgh, turned himself in to police headquarters on the same charge.

Auburn police have obtained a warrant for the couple’s arrest after they executed a search warrant at the business several weeks earlier and seized what they described as approximately 18,000 illegal goods – including cigarettes not taxed, flavored vaping products and marijuana not authorized for retail sale.

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The store has also been the subject of several criminal investigations, including a reported armed robbery on December 31 and nuisance issues in the neighborhood. A hearing on the property is scheduled before the city’s nuisance abatement committee on April 20. The committee could vote to declare the property a nuisance and have it seized and shut down by the police department.

The two smokehouse defendants received appearance tickets for Auburn City Court. Algamal is due in court on April 12 while Alharbi is due in court on April 4.

The Auburn Police Department has issued warrants for two people linked to a city smokehouse, including the owner of the business, after thousands of…

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