Henrico Police arrest 4 in interstate cigarette trafficking scheme

Henrico Police arrested (from left) Qiuyue Chen, Fu Chen and Ihad Samir Abou El Ela in connection with an interstate cigarette trafficking scheme.
Henrico Police have arrested and charged three county residents and one New York resident in an illegal interstate cigarette trafficking operation.

Last fall, Henrico Police and the Henrico County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office initiated an investigation of a group engaged in illegal interstate trafficking of cigarettes after experiencing an increase in crime surrounding cigarette distribution and sales.

The investigation revealed that the organization would purchase large quantities of tax-exempt cigarettes in the Metro Richmond area and arrange for their illegal transport to New York City and other areas. The operation continued for several months and involved the purchase of millions of dollars’ worth of cigarettes.

Police arrested and charged Qiuyue Chen, 35, and Fu Chen, 42, both of the 12000 block of Cordell Circle in Glen Allen with racketeering, money laundering and cigarette trafficking and purchasing cigarettes under a fictitious business.

They also arrested and charged Ihab Samir Abou El Ela, 43, of the 2400 block of Old Brick Road in Glen Allen with racketeering and cigarette trafficking.

Song Zheng, 37, of Brooklyn, N.Y. was arrested and charged with cigarette trafficking.

The investigation was a collaborative effort between the Henrico County Police Division, the New York City Sheriff’s Office, the Maryland State Police PACE Team, Maryland Comptroller’s Office, Pennsylvania State Police, Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, Chesterfield County Police, Richmond City Police, Virginia State Police, the Virginia Office of the Attorney General Tobacco Enforcement Unit, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Department of Homeland Security Investigations, the Internal Revenue Service, Altria/Philip Morris USA Brand and Trade Channel Integrity Group and Walmart/Sam’s Global Investigations.
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Henrico Master Gardener training program accepting applications through Oct. 27

The Henrico County Office of Virginia Cooperative Extension is accepting applications for its next volunteer Master Gardener training program, which provides instruction in all aspects of horticulture.

Applications for the 2018 training program will be accepted through Friday, Oct. 27. Classes will be held from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays from Jan. 16 through March 22. > Read more.

Henrico Schools to host Oct. 30 job fair

Henrico Schools will host a job fair Oct. 30.

The event, to be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Fairfield branch library, is designed to attract potential full-time and substitute registered nurses, instructional assistants, bus drivers and school nutrition workers. > Read more.

Henrico Police to participate in ‘Tip a Cop’ Oct. 21

Henrico County Police Division and the Virginia Division of Capitol Police are participating in “Tip-A-Cop” to Support the Special Olympics Saturday, Oct. 21.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. that day at Red Robin, 11784 West Broad Street, members of the two agencies will be working for tips as a donation to the Special Olympics. > Read more.

Participants sought for ‘Walk to End Alzheimer’s’

The Richmond Walk to End Alzheimer’s will be held Saturday, Nov. 4, at Markel Plaza in Innsbrook, and the Alzheimer's Association of Greater Richmond is seeking participants.

The event, one of three walks the association will hold in its service area this year (the Middle Peninsula-Northern Neck walk was held Oct. 7 and the Fredericksburg walk Oct. 14) raises money to help the association fight the disease, which affects more than 26,000 people in the metro Richmond region. > Read more.

Fairfield meeting Oct. 25 to focus on cybersecurity

Henrico County Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman and Fairfield District Supervisor Frank J. Thornton will hold a constituent meeting Wednesday, Oct. 25 to discuss cybersecurity.

Thornton also has invited candidates who will be seeking election to local offices on Tuesday, Nov. 7 to introduce themselves. > Read more.

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October 2017

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VCU's Office of Continuing and Professional Education will offer free events during 3rd Wednesdays at Regency Square. Today’s topic is “Virginia529 Plan: Saving for Continuing Education.” Learn how you and your family can benefit from the tax advantages of a Virginia529 account. Sessions for the 3rd Wednesday series will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the Garden Room adjacent to the food court. For details and to register, visit http://www.ocpe.vcu.edu/community. Full text

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