Two Canadian men have been charged with tax crimes after allegedly being found with 340 cartons of untaxed cigarettes.

According to the Department of Taxation and Finance, Marc Lahache, 48, and Neil Montour, 42, both of Quebec were arrested following a March 19 traffic stop.

Border Patrol agents first stopped the pair, and during a subsequent search of their vehicle, officials say, they found the cigarettes, which reportedly represented an estimated $10,000 in unpaid taxes.

"Across the state, Tax Department investigators are working with local and federal authorities and prosecutors to fight illegal cigarette smuggling and counterfeiting," Taxation and Finance Commissioner Jamie Woodward said in a news release.

"Each dollar that isn't collected through a tobacco sales tax is another dollar lost that could go towards improving schools, hospitals and highways. Criminals who traffic in untaxed and counterfeit cigarettes will be held accountable."

Both men were charged with third-degree tax fraud and unlawful possession of untaxed cigarettes, crimes that could net up to seven years in prison.

They have each been released on bail and will be prosecuted by the Franklin County District Attorney's Office.

— By Staff Writer Andrea VanValkenburg

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