Lincoln Woman's Cigarette Conviction Overturned

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LINCOLN, Neb. -- A federal appeals court has reversed the lone conviction against a Lincoln woman accused of helping smuggle cigarettes from Vietnam.

In an opinion Tuesday, a three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said federal prosecutors did not present sufficient evidence to show that Tang "Janny" Nguyen knowingly trafficked in contraband cigarettes.

Nguyen was one of five Lincoln people accused in the scheme. Prosecutors said the group had more than 10,000 cigarettes shipped to homes in Lincoln and Nebraska City, and then resold them without paying state and federal taxes.

In 2012, a jury found that Nguyen wasn't actively involved in the operation, but had possessed contraband cigarettes.

Nguyen's attorney argued that Nguyen didn't know it was illegal to get cigarettes from Vietnam and didn't intend to defraud anyone.