Suspected gasoline smuggling ring put in park throughout BK, city

BROOKLYN - Several people pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges stemming from accusations they took part in a gasoline smuggling ring that bilked Brooklyn drivers out of their cash.

Eight people and six companies are accused of buying hundreds of thousands of gallons of regular gasoline from fuel terminals in New Jersey and filling up Brooklyn and other New York pumps. Investigators say an untold number of drivers purchased the low-grade gasoline at higher prices, believing it was high-octane. Attorney General Eliot Spitzer also says the suspects committed tax fraud by buying the gas at a lower price in New Jersey and illegally smuggling it into New York with fake paperwork.

Spitzer has asked the court to seize $3 million collected in the smuggling operation.

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