George Tirado, a Waterbury police detective and smoke shop owner, pleaded guilty Friday to a federal conspiracy stemming from the effort to influence tobacco legislation with hidden contributions to the congressional campaign of former House Speaker Christopher Donovan.

He is the seventh defendant to plead guilty in a case that torpedoed Donovan’s campaign last summer, yet has yielded no charges against him. Donovan’s former campaign manager, Josh Nassi, is among those who have pleaded guilty.

Tirado, 36, is a co-owner of Smoke House Tobaccco, a roll-your-own shop he owns with Paul Rogers. He and Rogers admit trying to use campaign contributions to stop legislation imposing steep fees on the roll-your-own business, which a court rule was exempt from cigarette taxes.

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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