Sentencing delayed for New York cigarette shop owner

New York, New York (AP) May 2010

A judge has postponed a sentencing hearing for a New York cigarette dealer at the center of a dispute over the state’s power to tax tobacco sold on Indian reservations.

Rodney Morrison was convicted in 2008 of charges his smoke shop on the Poospatuck reservation was a criminal enterprise.

But a federal judge tossed the racketeering case last week, citing a lack of clarity in state tax law. Jurors had previously acquitted Morrison of charges he ordered a murder, a robbery and an arson.

That left Morrison dealing with only one count of illegal gun possession. He could get anywhere from time served to 10 years in prison. His legal team wants time served.

A new sentencing date has been set for May 7.