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Court to hear Yakama tobacco smuggling case

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments today in a tobacco smuggling case involving two members of the Yakama Nation of Washington.

Harry Smiskin, 55, and his 31-year-old son, Kato Smiskin were charged with violating federal law. They are accused of moving large shipments of untaxed cigarettes without notifying the state.

U.S. District Judge Edward Shae dismissed the charges. He said the Yakama Treaty of 1855 doesn't require state notification.

The arguments are being heard in Seattle, Washington. The case is US v. Smiskin, No. 05-30590 and No. 05-30591.

In another dispute in federal court, tobacco giant Phillip Morris is suing two Yakama businessmen, alleging violating of trademarks. The King Mountain Tobacco brand, owned by Delbert Wheeler Sr. and Richard Kip Ramsey Sr., uses symbols that allegedly resemble marks registered to Phillip Morris.

Get the Story:
Appeals court hears tribal smuggling case [see fourth item] (The Yakima Herald-Republic 10/17)
Philip Morris takes fight to federal court (The Yakima Herald-Republic 10/14)

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