Section 35: Possession or transportation of unstamped cigarettes; penalty; arrest, search and seizure; forfeitures
Section 35. Whoever, not being a stamper or licensed transportation company or such other person as the commissioner may authorize, knowingly possesses or delivers or transports unstamped cigarettes in the commonwealth shall be punished by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars or by imprisonment in state prison for not more than five years, or both; provided, however, that a violation involving fewer than twelve thousand cigarettes shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.
Any such person shall be subject to all the provisions as to arrest, search and seizure, as set forth in section eight, insofar as applicable, and the unstamped cigarettes, the vending machines, receptacles, boxes or cartons in which the same are contained, any vehicle used in the illegal transportation and any records relating to the purchase and sale of such cigarettes shall be subject to seizure in the manner provided in said section eight and shall be turned over to the commissioner and shall be forfeited to the commonwealth. Proceedings shall be had as provided in section eight, and on the judgment of the court after verdict, whether a forfeiture of the whole or any part of the cigarettes, machines, receptacles, vehicles, and the records seized, or otherwise, similar proceedings shall be had as are directed in sections fifty to fifty-five, inclusive, of chapter one hundred and thirty-eight, except that the sale of such property shall be conducted by the commissioner.
In addition to other remedies provided by law, the commissioner may assess a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 for each violation of this section.
The commissioner shall promulgate regulations to implement and enforce this section.