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James Suckling

Cuban Cigar Sting in L.A.

Posted: May 7, 2008 11:49am ET
It is surprisingly easy to get Cuban cigars on the West Coast, especially Los Angeles. I was jonesing for a Cuban the other night in Los Angeles and a buddy of mine turned me on to a Partagas Serie D No. 4 straight from a nearby convenience store on Sunset Boulevard. I think most cigar and smoke shops in West Hollywood have Cubans under their counters. I imagine it is the same in many places in Southern California. Whether they are real or not is another matter!

Of course, this is totally illegal and should be discontinued. But I thought for journalistic purposes I would see how easy it was to score a real Cuban smoke on a balmy night in Los Angeles. And as you can see in the video, there's no problem.

I guess most of the cigars are muled up through Tijuana, which is only a three-hour drive from Los Angeles, with little or no traffic. The price for a robusto is usually about $25. But the ones my friend bought the other night were discounted to $18. I think in Tijuana they sell for about $8; so there is a profit involved for those who sell. Buyers beware, though, it’s a bust if you get caught!

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