PSP say they found 576 cartons of unstamped cigarettes during traffic stop on I-81

14 June 2024- A New York State man is facing charges following a stop on I-81 Thursday morning. Mohammad Qaddoruah has been charged with felony possession of unstamped cigarettes, misdemeanor possession of unstamped cigarettes, following too closely, and disregarding traffic lane. Qaddoruah posted bail of $25,000 with the help of a bail bondsman and is currently free awaiting his next court date.

Pennsylvania State Police were on regular patrol, they say, around mile marker 18 of I-81 in Franklin County around 9:20am on June 13th. During this patrol, Troopers say they spotted a pickup truck following a truck too closely and not staying in its lane, necessitating a traffic stop. That pickup truck, PSP say, displayed a Florida registration that came up as a rental but it also had a tonneau cover over its bed. Due to tonneau covers and rental vehicles being used sometimes in drug or untaxed cigarette trafficking, Troopers executed the aforementioned traffic stop.

The driver of that vehicle, Mohammad Qaddoruah, reportedly told police that he had rented the vehicle and was using it to drop a friend off from Syracuse, NY to the area around Charles Town, West Virginia. He allegedly told police that he was following too close because he had done the trip in one night and just wanted to get home quicker. Troopers do say that Qaddoruah failed to produce a rental agreement for the vehicle.

They were, however, able to get the receipt through the rental company’s website but Troopers were allegedly concerned that Qaddoruah had rented a vehicle approximately 30 times in less than a year. When questioned about illegal substances in the car, Troopers say Qaddoruah said he didn’t have anything but asked clarifying questions and suddenly could not hear their questions when asked about currency or methamphetamine.

Troopers applied for a search warrant after Qaddoruah denied a search of his vehicle. After it was granted, Troopers say they found a paper bag full of US cash in the center console and 19 boxes, or 576 cartons, of cigarettes in the truck bed of the vehicle.

Mohammad Qaddoruah is free after posting bail of $25,000.

Sources: Docket Number: MJ-39304-CR-0000115-2024, Incident No.: PA 2024-778968