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Feds suing owner of Smokin’ Joes

The federal government is suing the owner of Smokin’ Joe’s in Lewiston over $2.4 million in tobacco assessments.

The suit, filed Thursday, accuses Joseph Anderson of failing to pay mandated charges related to the tobacco products he manufactures or imports for sale at his stores.

The charges are part of a U.S. Department of Agriculture program designed to ease the transition of tobacco farmers into a free enterprise system by subsidizing their operations for a 10-year period that ends next year.

The suit claims Anderson owes money dating back to 2005. Anderson did not return a phone call seeking a comment on the allegations.