Business | Law

Kevin Abourezk: Nebraska returns seized tobacco to Ponca Tribe

"The Nebraska Department of Revenue will return nearly $14,000 worth of cigarettes seized last week from the Ponca Tribe, a tribal official said Monday.

"I'm pretty stoked," said Ponca Chairwoman Rebecca White. "They were flat out wrong."

Revenue Department spokeswoman Deepa Buss confirmed Monday that the state would be returning the tribe's cigarettes, though she offered no other details.

Revenue Department representatives entered the tribe's Ponca Smoke Signals shop in Niobrara at about 11:40 a.m. Thursday, according to White. She said they informed the shop's manager that the shop had failed to affix its cigarette packages with a state cigarette tax stamp and began packing up the store's entire inventory of cigarettes.

The tribal smoke shop is on federal trust land owned by the tribe. The shop sells only Native-manufactured cigarettes and affixes its own tribal stamp on each carton, White said. She said the seizure violated the tribe's sovereign immunity."

Get the Story:
Kevin Abourezk: State to return tribe's cigarettes (The Lincoln Journal Star 3/14)

Related Stories:
Kevin Abourezk: Nebraska seizes tobacco from Ponca Tribe's land (3/11)

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