Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Wednesday afternoon raided the Skydancer Smoke Shop in Seneca Falls.
Agents were seen taking away pallets of cases of what were labeled as Indian-manufactured cigarettes.
The store that is operated by the Seneca-Cayuga Indian Tribe of Oklahoma.
ATF Resident Agent-in-Charge Scott Heagney says the tribe is in violation of the federal tax laws.
Heagney says agents seized between 800 and 1,000 cases of cigarettes.
“We received a complaint about this particular store and the volume of untaxed cigarettes they were selling in contrast with other stores in the area that are playing by the rules,” said Scott Heagney, resident agent in charge of ATF in Rochester. “They (other stores) are selling taxed cigarettes; it ends up being a big business disadvantage.”
All Photos by Greg Cotterill, Finger Lakes News Radio.
Heagney says the ATF will continue to investigate the Cayuga-Seneca Indians.
Just last month, the tribe applied to put 229 acres of land in the Cayuga County town of Aurelius into a federal trust. Included in that application was 1.09 acres of land in Seneca Falls at 126 East Bayard Street the site of the Skydancer Smoke Shop. The shop is an outlet for tribal cigarettes which are made in Oklahoma.
In the application filed with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the tribe indicated they want to build a casino on the property they own near the Cayuga-Seneca County border.
In 2006 the tribe filed a similar land-into-trust application but it was rejected in 2008 because the New York location was too far from the tribe's home base in Grove, Oklahoma.