Court documents obtained Thursday by The Associated Press say Ghalib Shahjamaluddin is accused of felony conspiracy charges. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch first reported about the case.
Shahjamaluddin is accused of paying an undercover investigator $4.3 million for 144,000 cartons of contraband cigarettes. Missouri has the nation's lowest cigarette tax. The tax in Illinois is about six times higher.
The U.S. Department of Justice estimates federal, state and local governments lose $5 billion annually in tax revenue from cigarettes sold through illegitimate channels.