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About Ellen F. Rosenblum
Attorney General Hardy Myers today announced the conviction and sentencing of Mercado Salvador in Deschutes County Circuit Court for violations of state tobacco tax and trademark laws. Before Judge Michael Adler, Salvador plead guilty to four counts of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument I and one count of Trademark Counterfeiting II, all felony crimes under Oregon law. He was sentenced to six months in the Deschutes County Jail and 24 months of subsequent post-prison supervision. The defendant will then be released to federal custody for prosecution of immigration offenses.
"These are serious felony crimes that were not only intended to defraud the state of tax revenues, they had the potential of contributing to a web of deceitful sales of counterfeit products," stated Myers.
Salvador was stopped by Deschutes County sheriff deputies for a traffic violation on October 11, 2007. Authorities discovered 5 cartons of counterfeit Marlboro cigarettes, 50 cartons of genuine Marlboro cigarettes missing tax stamps and correct labels and therefore deemed unlawful for sale in the United States, 122 pirated DVD movies, 32 high-quality blank resident alien cards, and 60 high-quality blank Social Security cards in his vehicle. A subsequent investigation established that all items were obtained in Baja, Mexico, and were smuggled across the California-Mexico border through California and into Oregon where they were intercepted by Deschutes County authorities.
The case was investigated and prosecuted by the cooperative efforts of the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office and the Oregon Tobacco Tax Compliance Task Force, which includes the Oregon Department of Justice, the Oregon Department of State Police, and the Oregon Department of Revenue.
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