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Seized smokes: Fed court sides with state

Oklahoma City Oklahoma (AP) July 2010

A federal appeals court in Denver has agreed to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the Muscogee (Creek) Nation against the Oklahoma Tax Commission over cigarettes seized by the state.

A three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued its ruling on July 9 that upheld a lower court decision.

Commission agents directed state troopers to stop tribal trucks and seize $107,000 worth of cigarettes without state tax stamps in May 2009.

The tribe argued the trucks were stopped and searched illegally and that the seized cigarettes should be returned or the tribe compensated for their loss.

The state argued it would have lost tax revenue if the cigarettes were sold.

The tribe is one of only two in Oklahoma without a tobacco compact with the state.




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