Feds Raid Asian Bubble Tea In White Center For Illegal Cigarette Sales

Federal agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and other agencies on Wednesday (July 13) raided Asian Bubble Tea, located at 9835 16th Ave SW in White Center, for the illegal trafficking and sale of foreign cigarettes.

The raid was part of an ongoing ATF investigation into business that have been smuggling foreign cigarettes into the US without paying state and federal taxes. A second raid was conducted Wednesday at a home in the Kenmore area. Agents took out several boxes of what are allegedly illegal cigarettes.

Here’s a video report from our friends at KING5:

Here’s more info on the raid from the ATF:

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Seattle Field Division, together with the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIC), the United States Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General (USDA-OIG), the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB), announced today a large scale law enforcement operation involving the execution of multiple search and seizure warrants in connection with the illegal trafficking of contraband cigarettes in Seattle and Western Washington. The ATF and participating agencies executed 14 federal search warrants for violations of federal law involving the illegal possession, sale and distribution of contraband cigarettes originating in Vietnam. 15 federal search and seizure warrants were also executed on vehicles identified as being utilized in connection with the illegal cigarette trafficking activities.

ATF’s investigation began as a result of information obtained from WSLCB which included several individuals identified as possessing and/or trafficking in Vietnamese contraband cigarettes. While the case by ATF initially focused on individuals selling contraband Vietnamese cigarettes at the street level, the USPIS and ICE later joined the investigation as large quantities of contraband cigarettes were identified as being mailed from Vietnam into the U.S., and specifically into the greater Seattle area.

The contraband Vietnamese cigarettes identified during this investigation and imported as part of this scheme, do not bear valid State of Washington tax stamps. Since the cigarettes are not legally imported or legally manufactured in the United States, applicable federal taxes that would normally be due on them are not paid. Further, because state and federal taxes are not paid on the cigarettes, they are sold for much less than legal cigarettes sold at retail. As a result, this deprives both state and federal governments of tax revenue. Conservative calculations from this investigation estimate a total loss of revenue by both state and federal governments of over $24,000,000.00.

Trafficking in contraband cigarettes deceives and defrauds consumers and steals income from legitimate businesses,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge, Kelvin Crenshaw. “The execution of today’s search warrants represents a commitment by both ATF and its partners to identify, investigate and pursue individuals that would look to commit schemes that defraud our governments and ultimately rob our communities. We will continue to aggressively pursue those who violate federal law and defraud the state of Washington.”

The ATF also received assistance during this investigation by the United States Attorney’s Office, the United States Marshals Service and the Seattle Police Department.

ATF’s primary goal in tobacco enforcement is to enforce the federal laws relating to tobacco diversion and protect the revenue of the federal and state governments. ATF is the federal law enforcement agency with primary jurisdiction over the Contraband Cigarette Trafficking Act (CCTA) to stop tobacco diversion. More information on ATF and its programs is available at www.atf.gov.


6 Responses to “Feds Raid Asian Bubble Tea In White Center For Illegal Cigarette Sales”
  1. milo says:

    They can either buy imported ciggys, or manufacture them in Vietnam, smuggle them back into the “good” ole USA, and still make a profit selling them at 1/2 price??
    Does anyone think that having to support the; ATF, USPIC, USDA-OIG, ICE, WSLCB, has anything to do with the need to smuggle smokes, just to get them at a reasonable price?
    All these agencies involved, and all the taxpayer gets is a lot of smokes, that they can afford, off the market………….They’ll probably just destroy them anyway. (minus what disappears from the truck on the way home!)

  2. Shameless VN says:

    Congrats the Fed. Let’s get them all (supermarkets, hair salons, nail shops, spar shops). No wander, all the owners had all the big and nice houses, driving nice and expensive cars. The shops had no traffics but they still open multiple shops. Now I know why they do that ….. just for illegal activities. Finally, the Fed hunt them down …. They are “rotten tomatoes” for your local and federal economies.

    I hope that the Fed will get more of them in Seattle (Whitecenter, Jackson street, and Rainier Valley).


      You talk about Jackson street …. that is a Avenue for money laundering …
      The Fed need to follow up with “SAGO Nail and Beauty Supply shop on Jackson and 12th. That store is total dead with no traffic but they just open a new store ….claim their business is good ,,,,, They have to do money laundering in order to survive ….


      Let’s go FED….. let’s hunt them down…. Congrats all the AGENTS with their SUPER jobs.

  3. Good job Fed Agents! I hope BATF will not leave any rock UNTURNED… they businesses are polluting the races and dignity of our people.

    Also, please hunt down all the businesses that operate with “CASH ONLY” signs stick infront of customers’ faces. They are something wrong with these businesses.

    I wish the FED with all the powers and lucks to hunt down to the ROOT of these problems.


  4. Wow says:

    Look at all these haters…

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