Man pleads not guilty to smuggling fake Marlboros

Jul 2, 2012, 9:29 PM

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – A Chinese national pleaded not guilty Monday to charges that he smuggled more than $1 million worth of fake Marlboro cigarettes into the United States.

Lin Xiao Wei, 32, who is charged with selling, dispensing and fraudulently importing a counterfeit tobacco product, entered his plea in U.S. District Court in Providence and was ordered held.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Lincoln Almond noted that Wei had entered the United States on a visitor’s visa and has no ties to the country, so he deemed him a flight risk. Wei did not request bail, but Almond said his public defender could request it later.

Federal prosecutors say a confidential source arranged for Wei, who uses the name “Marvin,” to ship a 20-foot container of counterfeit Marlboros from China to Miami. The shipment was labeled as leather products headed for Rhode Island.

Prosecutors also say Wei discussed a deal to sell to the source tens of thousands of fake Viagra tablets for more than $1.3 million and said he would be able to make a counterfeit version of a new Nike sneaker before it was released in stores in the United States.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Man pleads not guilty to smuggling fake Marlboros