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Piedmont men sentenced in cigarette smuggling operation

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Jail stock photo

Jail stock photo

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Two men from the Piedmont are heading to prison for their role in a cigarette smuggling operation.

A federal judge sentenced Ziad Najjar of Greensboro to two years and Tha’er Ayyad of Kernersville to more than three years in prison.

Officials said Ayyad will be deported when he is released.

The men were convicted of being part of a ring that bought almost a half million cartons of stolen cigarettes for about half their retail value.

They then sold the cigarettes in North and South Carolina illegally, according to officials.