× The Vanderbilt Television News Archive is currently closed to in-person research, but is still fulfilling loan requests. For the latest information about COVID-19 (coronavirus disease), visit vu.edu/coronavirus.
Search the Archive

Segment 3 (Bootleg Cigarettes) #495464

NBC Evening News for Tuesday, Sep 20, 1977
View other clips in this broadcast →

Material supplied by VTNA may be used for educational analysis or research only. Any editing, reproduction, publication, rebroadcast, public showing or public display may be prohibited by copyright laws. For any such use, please visit NBC NEWS Archives XPRESS.

(Studio) Bootleg cigarette operation by organized crime is of awesome size and enormous profit. Criminals get away with it.
REPORTER: John Chancellor

(NYC) Org. crime makes big profit by buying cigarettes wholesale in states where tobacco is grown, North Carolina, Kentucky and Virginia, and taking them to states where cigarette taxes are higher, yet Mafia pays no taxes on cigarettes, therefore making big profit. Police say one site of Mafia purchasing is in small North Carolina town; film being shown was shot by news team with concealed camera. Reporter interviews man who is underworld figure and also undercover operative for federal government [MAN - says cigarette smuggling is popular because there's little risk and great profit. Describes methods used to smuggle cigarettes using fruit trucks from Florida.] Half of all cigarettes sold in New York City are smuggled and it's almost impossible for customer to know if he's buying illegal packs, as mob counterfeits own tax stamps. Tax losses from cigarette smuggling in New York, Texas and Florida, as well as overall US fig., noted. Law enforcement officers have done little to halt smuggling; in Pennsylvania, 2 tax officers spent 2 days following suspected smugglers, but on making arrest, got only 7 cartons. Officials acknowledge Mafia operates smuggling ring with little chance of being caught. Fears are that organized crime will soon control entire cigarette ind. [Brown and Williamson Tobacco Company chairperson Joe EDENS - feels criminal elements could take over industry completely.] [MAN - says bosses could be almost anyone, as there's not one chief boss; notes many recent killings.] Gangland-style slayings have been happening frequently in battle for control of smuggling operation and many wslers. in New York City have been forced out of business or hire armed guards to protect workers. All efforts to lower taxes and stop racket have failed; almost

Reporter(s):
Chancellor, John
Duration:
00:05:40

Note to sponsor members: The Vanderbilt Television News Archive video player requires a modern operating system and browser to work properly. If you are experiencing playback problems, check the minimum requirements and adjust your setup accordingly. After adjustments, if you continue to experience problems, please contact us.

Welcome! Above is the abstract of the item that you're interested in viewing from the Vanderbilt Television News Archive's collection. You have three options if you'd like to view this item:

  • You may request a loan of this video by registering on our website and placing an order.
  • You may visit the Television News Archive on the Vanderbilt campus to view on-site from the Archive's collection.
  • If you are associated with a college or university, you may ask your library if they would like to become a sponsor, which would give students and faculty at your institution the ability to view items from our collection.

If you believe that you are associated with a sponsoring college or university and have received this message in error, please let us know.