Customs official indicted in smuggling investigation

The head of the US Customs Service for northern New Jersey was indicted Wednesday on charges stemming from a year-long investigation of widespread corruption in the agency's operation. A grand jury in Newark returned an 18 -count indictment charging that Leonard Grant of New York City illegally accepted gifts and bribes. He was suspended last November from his $48,000 -a-year post as the Neward-area director of the agency.

Grant was the eight customs official -- ranging from warehouse officers to supervisory personnel -- charged in the continuing probe, which has uncovered evidence of smuggling, bribery, and the forging of documents to avoid the payment of import duties and taxes.

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