- Office of Attorney General Maura Healey
Media Contact for New Hampshire Man Charged With Trafficking Marijuana, Illegally Distributing Tobacco and Flavored Vaping Products
BOSTON — A New Hampshire man has been arrested and arraigned in connection with a joint state and federal investigation into a large-scale illegal marijuana, tobacco, and flavored vaping product distribution operation, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.
Samuel Habib, 42, of Stratham, New Hampshire, was arrested Tuesday night and arraigned in Woburn District Court on Wednesday on the charges of Trafficking Class D Marijuana (Over 100 lbs.) (one count) and Tax Evasion (one count). Judge David Frank set bail at $25,000 with the condition that Habib surrender his passport. Habib is due back in court on October 22 for a probable cause hearing.
The charges are the result of a year-long investigation into a major multi-level organization that was illegally trafficking marijuana and illegally distributing untaxed tobacco and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS)—the majority of which were counterfeit and flavored, in violation of the state’s ban on flavored tobacco and ends products—into stores across Massachusetts and in New York and New Hampshire.
“We allege this defendant was running a major illegal marijuana and tobacco distribution ring that was bringing counterfeit products into Massachusetts businesses – all while evading taxes,” AG Healey said. “Flavored tobacco and vaping products are dangerous, addictive and particularly appealing to young people – which is why we’ve banned the sale of them in Massachusetts. We’re grateful to our partners in law enforcement for working with us to dismantle this illicit drug operation.”
The investigation culminated Tuesday with a takedown involving multiple law enforcement agencies executing search warrants at multiple commercial facilities in Massachusetts, as well as locations in New York and New Hampshire. During the execution of the search warrants, authorities seized approximately 750 pounds of marijuana, 250 cases of illegal vapes, 200 cases of THC infused products, approximately $540,000 in U.S. currency, four cargo vans, and one luxury SUV.
“The Department of Revenue remains committed to the ongoing efforts of the Illegal Tobacco Task Force, and to assisting the Attorney General’s Office in its prosecution of those who sell illegal tobacco,” said DOR Commissioner Geoffrey E. Snyder. “The work of the Task Force helps to protect honest taxpayers and to recoup revenue for the Commonwealth.”
“The arrest of Habib has dealt a serious blow to a major illegal marijuana, tobacco and counterfeit vaping distribution network that operated across New England,” said William S. Walker, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations, Boston. “The trafficking of these products by Habib and others in violation of the law posed a real danger to users of these illicit goods. Investigations like this one only reach truly impactful conclusions when federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and prosecutors team together in ways that lead to safer communities for all.”
This investigation is ongoing. These charges are allegations and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Joseph R. Posner of AG Healey’s White Collar and Public Integrity Division with assistance from Financial Investigator Jill Petruzziello of the AG’s Financial Investigations Division and the AG’s Digital Evidence Lab. This case is being investigated by Massachusetts State Police (MSP) assigned to the AG’s Office and the Illegal Tobacco Task Force, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue, MSP Troop A Cat, the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, MSP Crime Scene Services, MSP Commercial Motor Vehicle Enforcement Section, the New Hampshire State Police, the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office, the New York State Police, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Woburn Police Department, the Stoneham Police, and the Eliot, Maine Police Department.