A family crime organization allegedly sold more than $6.6 million in black market cigarettes, as well as illegal foreign drugs, through a Baltimore restaurant and a Pikesville pharmacy, the Baltimore Sun reports.
Authorities said in a federal indictment unsealed this week that the "Yusufov organization" laundered the proceeds of their operations through wire transfers to Eastern Europe. Some of those accused also established themselves as legitimate businesspeople in the community, the Sun says.
Eleven people were arrested Wednesday, including Salim Yusufov, the owner of Health-Way pharmacy on Reisterstown Road in Pikesville. The U.S. Attorney says he doesn’t want people to panic, but Yusufov received and sold prescriptions that are not approved by the FDA in the United States, reports WJZ TV.
The pharmacy moved there with $300,000 in public financing and has since been recognized by the Pikesville Chamber of Commerce for its role in revitalizing the downtown business district, said the Sun.
“They had recently complicated renovation of their property, and it really fit into our street scape, and to see all the people indicted is shocking,” Marcy Gorman, chamber president, told the TV station.
Also charged was the proprietor of the Europe Restaurant, just down the street in Baltimore, the newspaper said.
The indictment alleges the crew would buy cigarettes in Maryland and sell them in New York without paying any taxes, according to WJZ’s story. The suspects allegedly made more than $6 million made off of the transactions, and the owner of the pharmacy received $81,000 in kickbacks.