NEW YORK (AP) — California and New York City sued the U.S. Postal Service on Tuesday to stop tens of thousands of cigarette packages from being mailed from foreign countries to U.S. residents, saying the smugglers are engaging in tax evasion while postal workers look the other way.
The lawsuit in Brooklyn federal court blames the Postal Service for deliveries from Vietnam, China, Israel and other countries, saying the failure to enforce a federal law aimed at banning cigarette mail deliveries costs California an average of $19 million annually in tax revenues and New York City and state over $21 million each year.
The lawsuit seeks a court order to force the Postal Service to intercept and destroy packages believed to contain cigarettes.
The Postal Service does not comment on active litigation, spokesman David Coleman said in an email.
“Cigarette smuggling doesn’t just break the law — it endangers the health of countless Americans and enriches terrorists and organized crime,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a news release. “Yet despite all of this, our nation’s own postal service has ignored the practice and enabled one of the biggest killers in our country. It needs to end, and we intend