St Louis News

Woman found dead in Greenville, Illinois; other person barricaded in home

ST. LOUIS — Illegal smugglers are finding St. Louis as a welcome headquarters to make millions. They can make their illegal profits off cigarettes. Just one pack of cigarettes could make a $2 profit, just by taking it to Illinois.

That’s because Missouri’s cigarette tax is just 17 cents on one pack of cigarettes. The cigarette tax is $2.98 in Illinois, on the same pack. And in Chicago, the cigarette tax jumps to $7.16. That discrepancy in taxes has led to a smuggling pipeline.

Smugglers sometimes hide their contraband in trash bags or grocery bags when they drive them across state lines. Other smugglers stack them neatly for maximum profit. From truckloads to passenger cars, one load could profit $10,000 just by driving it over the Mississippi. It could net $30,000 if they make it to Chicago.

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