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Three sentenced for cigarette trafficking

Two North Idaho residents who were involved in trafficking contraband cigarettes have been sentenced in U.S. District Court in Spokane.

Peter Mahoney, 54, was sentenced to 33 months in prison and his wife, Peggy Mahoney, 38, was sentenced to six months home detention as a condition of three years of probation.

The sentences were handed down Friday after a two-day hearing before Judge Robert Whaley.

As part of their plea agreements with the U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Washington, the Mahoneys agreed to forfeit $1.4 million seized during a lengthy multi-agency investigation.

The Mahoneys operated Warpath Smoke Shop in Plummer, Idaho, and sold wholesale cigarettes to retailers on Indian reservations in Washington without reporting those sales to Washington state, avoiding payment of that state’s cigarette taxes.

Mark Van’t Hul, Peggy Mahoney’s brother, of Havre, Mont., who also admitted his role in the conspiracy, was sentenced to two years’ probation.

Co-defendants Lyle Conway and Shawn Conway, both of Fife, Wash., previously were both sentenced to two years’ probation.