Eastern Shore Businessman Faces 25 Years In Prison | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Eastern Shore Businessman Faces 25 Years In Prison

The Eastern Shore businessman and presumed ringleader of a multi-million dollar cigarette smuggling ring with alleged ties to terrorist groups, has been indicted again after a murder-for-hire plot was uncovered by New York state authorities.

Basel Ramadan, 42, was once a successful businessman in Ocean City, Md., but now he's being charged with 2nd degree conspiracy and 3rd degree criminal solicitation.

Ramadan faces 25 years to life in prison for trying to hire a hit man to murder two witnesses he believed were talking to police about the approximated $10 million in untaxed cigarettes he and his 14-person team smuggled and trafficked in New York City.

Ramadan made the call from New York's Rikers Island jail, where he has been held without bond since police raided his West Ocean City home in May.

New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly says authorities learned of Ramadan's alleged motive from a confidential source back in August, and after monitoring his phone calls from inside Rikers, an undercover officer posed as a contract killer on a call that took place in September where Ramadan asked the officer to "take care" of the two "targets."

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