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Alleged booze baron from Flushing busted for smuggling liquor from New Hampshire to New York

Photo courtesy of New York State Department of Taxation and Finance

Cops slammed the brakes on a Flushing man who allegedly tried to import untaxed cases of liquor from New Hampshire for sale locally.

Members of the New York State Police stopped Juncheng Chen, 45, of 64th Road on Nov. 10 for a moving violation while he drove into Rye in Westchester County.

Upon further investigation, according to the state Department of Taxation and Finance, officers found the rear of Chen’s vehicle filled ceiling-to-floor with cases of Hennessy, Beefeater’s Gin, Bailey’s Irish Cream and other liquor. Police determined that Chen allegedly bought the booze from five different outlets located in New Hampshire, where liquor purchases are tax free.

In all, police recovered 757 liters of liquor, equal to about 1,600 pints. The state Taxation Department estimated that Chen evaded at least $1,288 in New York state liquor taxes by doing his shopping out of state.

“Alcohol-related tax evasion, as this case clearly shows, is on our radar,” acting Commissioner Nonie Manion said. “We’ll work with all levels of law enforcement to tackle the problem head-on.”

Following further investigation, Chen was charged with possessing more than 360 liters of untaxed liquor and for acting as a distributor without being registered in New York state. He was released without bail at his arraignment, but is due back in court on Dec. 12.

Chen faces up to four years in prison if convicted.

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