A 59-year-old Pikesville man pleaded guilty on Friday of conspiracy to traffic in black market cigarettes, the U.S. Attorney for Maryland announced Friday.
Adam Azerman drove a van loaded with contraband cigarettes from Maryland to Brooklyn for a family crime organization that trafficked more than $6.6 million in black market cigarettes and illegal foreign drugs through a Baltimore restaurant and a Pikesville pharmacy. The statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office, said that Azerman's co-conspirators would meet him in Brooklyn, take the van and return it empty a few hours later.
Authorities said the "Yusufov organization" laundered the proceeds of their operations through wire transfers to Eastern Europe. Some of those accused also established themselves as legitimate businesspeople in the community.
Baltimore County gave Health-Way Pharmacy, owned by Salim Yusufov, $300,000 in public financing when the pharmacy moved from a nearby strip mall to the Reisterstown Road and Sudbrook Lane location.
The loan was intended to help the Yusufov family demolish vacant properties to make way for the 10,000-square-foot retail and office center now anchored by the pharmacy.