Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Tribe Loses Suit on Tax-Free Tobacco

BOSTON, Dec. 29 — A federal judge ruled on Monday that Rhode Island acted legally when it raided a tax-free smoke shop run by the Narragansett Indians and that the state had the right to tax sales of cigarettes on tribal land.

In his ruling, Judge William E. Smith of Federal District Court said the July 14 raid, in which state troopers seeking sales records served a search warrant on the smoke shop in a trailer on the Narragansett reservation in Charlestown, did not violate tribal sovereignty.