Akwesasne brothers plead guilty to wire fraud

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Two Akwesasne brothers have reportedly pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges in connection to a tobacco smuggling operation.

Joseph Thompson, 39, and Jonathan Thompson, 41, pleaded guilty to the U.S. federal charges, according to WHAM-TV.

The Thompsons had bought 72,000 pounds of cut tobacco from a Florida broker, which was shipped to buildings in Akwesasne. The money was then wired to Florida.

This happened for two-and-a-half years, starting in June 2016 and the contraband operation possibly cost the government over $1.4 billion in missed tax money.

The Thompsons will be sentenced in August and could face up to 20 years in prison.