Belfast Telegraph

Cigarettes smuggling duo jailed

Two unemployed men from Armagh and Down, who were involved in an attempt to smuggle more than eight million cigarettes into the UK from the Republic, have been sentenced.

James Francis McDonnell (41), from Ferryhill Road, Newry, and Michael Fearon (21), from The Village, Jonesborough, were arrested by HM Revenue and Customs in June 2010.

The pair were caught trying to escape from an industrial unit in the Killeavy area as they off-loaded cigarettes from a 40ft container into a transit van.

McDonnell was sentenced to two years and nine months in jail and two years and nine months on licence.

Fearon absconded after his arrest in June 2010 and was sentenced to one year in jail and one year on licence in his absence.

John Whiting of HMRC, said: "Tobacco smuggling encourages and supports criminality within our communities."

Belfast Telegraph

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