Missouri man charged in Will County with cigarette tax violations

A Missouri man faces charges in Will County that allege he unlawfully possessed over 1,000 packs of unstamped cigarettes and violated the Illinois Cigarette Tax Act by transporting over 40,000 unstamped cigarettes.

A grand jury returned an indictment that charged Ahmad Ayyash, 50, of the 800 block of Parkview Drive in Festus with unlawful possession of unstamped cigarettes and unlawful transportation of unstamped cigarettes.

A warrant was issued for Ayyash’s arrest on Jan. 6. The warrant carried a $50,000 bond. Ayyash has not been arrested as of Wednesday.

Court records show the charges were filed against Ayyash by the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, which did not respond to a message inquiring about the case.

The indictment alleged on Oct. 29 that Ayyash possessed over 1,000 packs of cigarettes without Illinois tax stamps and that he was not a distributor, secondary distributor or transporter of cigarettes licensed by the Illinois Department of Revenue to possess cigarettes without tax stamps.

The indictment also alleged Ayyash intended to evade taxes imposed by the Cigarette Tax Act by transporting over 40,000 cigarettes into or within Illinois without tax stamps.

On Oct. 30, 2019, Ayyash was charged in Will County with violating the Cigarette Tax Act by possessing over 1,000 packs of unstamped cigarettes, court records show. Ayyash had been jailed the day before.

On the same day, the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office dropped the charges during a court hearing. Ayyash was released from jail.