FORT MYERS, Fla. – A southwest Florida man faces federal charges after authorities accused him of illegally importing more than 28,000 Cuban cigars.
Authorities suspect 68-year-old Douglas Hiner of Port Charlotte also smuggled 42 bottles of Cuban rum into the United States.
Authorities say they stopped a 53-foot sailboat carrying Cuban cigars and rum in the waters near Tampa earlier this month. They than located a storage unit they say Hiner used to store the contraband in Fort Myers, a city about two hours south of Tampa.
Court records show Hiner is free on $50,000 bond and has pleaded not guilty. A phone message left with his attorney was not immediately returned Saturday.