Troopers say pair smuggled cigarettes

TUPPER LAKE – Two local women were charged with smuggling black-market cigarettes after state police found more than 10,000 untaxed and unstamped smokes in their vehicle during an investigation of an unrelated fatal motorcycle crash.

Rick Aslanian, 60, of Norfolk, St. Lawrence County, was killed when he crashed his motorcycle Saturday off Route 30 in Franklin County.

Troopers said Melissa L. Beddow, 39, of Broadalbin, and Sandra Aponte, 46, of Gloversville, were witnesses to the crash. A trooper interviewing the women smelled marijuana coming from their car, and a search turned up a small amount of marijuana and more than 10,000 untaxed and unstamped cigarettes, state police said.

Beddow and Aponte were charged with felony and misdemeanor counts of transporting untaxed/unstamped cigarettes. Beddow also was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation.

The two women were released on tickets to appear in of Harrietstown Town Court.