A federal judge held that Oklahoma can continue to seize what it deems to be contraband cigarettes sold by the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.
The court’s order denied the tribe’s request for a preliminary injunction to bar the state from enforcing parts of the tax code that allow it to seize nontaxed cigarettes sold at some of the tribe’s smoke shops.
A final ruling in the case has yet to be made.
The Creek Nation and the state have battled for some time over tobacco sales, and the tribe is one of the last in the state not to have signed an agreement with the state.
The state has seized tribal shipments of the unapproved cigarettes en route to retailers.
According to state filings in the case, the tribe evaded paying nearly $13 million in state tobacco excise taxes last year, or about $1.5 million per month.