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Judge vacates conviction of New York smoke shop owner

Cental Islip, New York (AP) April 2010

A judge has vacated the 2008 racketeering conviction of a former New York Indian reservation smoke shop owner who was considered one of the state’s biggest dealers in untaxed cigarettes.

An attorney for Rodney Morrison said Sunday the decision by U.S. District Judge Denis Hurley could set his client free. Morrison has been jailed without bail for six years.

Attorney Daniel Nobel says the judge has the authority to keep him incarcerated longer. The judge’s ruling on Friday didn’t affect Morrison’s conviction on a charge of illegal possession of a firearm.

Morrison was the proprietor of Peace Pipe Smoke Shop on Long Island’s Poospatuck Indian Reservation.

U.S. Attorney’s spokesman Robert Nardoza told Newsday the office was reviewing the judge’s ruling.




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