What began as a suspicion of illegal sale of cigarettes in the Kansas City area spread as far as upstate New York and has turned into a bonanza of cash for the U.S. Government.
Three and a half million dollars will be forfeit, even before anyone goes to trial.
After indictments naming 18 people were unsealed August 13, the alleged operation unfolded to the public.
Federal attorneys arranged seizure and forfeiture of well over $1 million in cash, an airplane and tractor trailers.
Among those charged, an Independence, Mo. couple and a Kansas lawyer.