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Untaxed cigarettes, drug suspects due back in court


Three Ogdensburg residents arrested Monday on untaxed cigarettes and drug charges will be back in city court on Feb. 19.

Robert D. Leeson, 31, of 443 Belmont Courts, and Ibrahim M. Abdulghani, 41, of 351 Belmont Courts, were arraigned Tuesday before Judge A. Michael Gebo and released to the supervision of probation. Heather M. Leeson, Mr. Leeson’s wife, 31, was released on Monday.

Ogdensburg police charged Mr. Leeson with misdemeanor fifth-degree criminal tax fraud, felony unlawful possession of untaxed cigarettes, misdemeanor fifth-degree criminal conspiracy, felony first-degree criminal nuisance and felony third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Mr. Abdulghani was charged with misdemeanor fifth-degree criminal tax fraud, felony unlawful possession of untaxed cigarettes and misdemeanor fifth-degree criminal conspiracy.

Police searched the Leesons’ residence on a warrant and found 504 packs of untaxed cigarettes, each with an excise tax of $4.35 for a total of $2,192.40.

They also discovered 63 Suboxone pain pills that were allegedly intended for sale for $30 apiece per or a total of $1,890.

The Leesons and Mr. Abdulghani all reserved their right to a preliminary hearing and will apply to the St. Lawrence County Public Defender’s Office for legal counsel.

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