Authorities said they have arrested and charged two Maryland men in connection with one of the largest tobacco and cigarette busts in the state's history.

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot said Wednesday the seizure represented more than “half a million dollars of untaxed tobacco products.” The goods resulted in $286,000 in tax loss to the state.

The bust was part of a year-long investigation that one Maryland official described as a “lucrative form of organized crime.” The investigation included surveillance and “routine tobacco inspections” in which agents found “large quantities of untaxed” tobacco products, officials said.

Several recent raids were done at a storage facility and six retail shops in Baltimore and Prince George’s and Howard counties. Agents found a “large-scale operation to import and distribute untaxed tobacco products and cigarettes” in the area, according to a statement.

Officials said Monzurul Islam, 29, of Columbia and Mehboob Chowdhury, 37, of Capitol Heights were arrested and charged with smuggling untaxed tobacco into the state — which they would then sell to stores, according to authorities. Another man — Abdul Karim Rubel, 18, of Baltimore — was charged with a misdemeanor for selling tobacco products that weren’t taxed while working at a store in Northeast Baltimore, officials said.

Franchot said in the statement that the investigation meant the “lawbreakers will be held accountable and Marylanders will not see lost tax revenue going out the door.”

He went on to say that “tobacco smuggling is big business and the perpetrators are more brazen than ever before.”