Investigation: EBT cards exchanged for cocaine, 30 arrested

Author:
Updated:
Original:

After a nine-month investigation, 30 people were arrested Tuesday in a cocaine trafficking scheme in northern Minnesota, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

The multi-agency investigation, "Operation Crackdown," revealed crack cocaine was being traded for food stamps or EBT/SNAP cards.

“These trades were made at rates equal to approximately 50 percent of the face value of the card. Crack cocaine with a street value of approximately $100 was purchased with cards holding benefits equal to $200,’’ police said in this morning’s release.

Several suspects face charges related to trafficking crack cocaine and wrongfully obtaining public assistance.

WDIO reports another half-dozen people who were already in custody will also be charged. Authorities are still looking for 10 more people related to the case.

Last spring, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced new rules to target fraud in the state’s food stamp program.

Minnesota ranks fourth in the nation for the number of people that have sought four a more replacement benefit cards, a key indicator of fraud. The activity is now a red flag for food stamp trafficking.

Next Up

police lights

Attempted luring of 14-year-old girl reported in West St. Paul

The suspect is described as a white man in his 40s.

Screen Shot 2021-03-04 at 9.19.48 PM

Worker, 18, suffers serious electric shock at Vikings apartments site

The worker was reportedly in a critical condition Thursday.

49920879552_ef6458affd_o2

As golf season approaches, book your round now at Dacotah Ridge GC

The stunning course is designed by world-renowned architect Rees Jones.

Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett's group out of potential Timberwolves sale

Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said that Garnett's group was not one of "more than 10" to buy the team.

axebridge

Full production winery set to open in Minneapolis this month

The couple behind Schram Vineyards Winery and Brewery is opening AxeBridge Wine Company in Minneapolis' North Loop neighborhood.

ambulance

Pedestrian killed in two-vehicle crash in Crystal

The incident happened just after noon.

Screen Shot 2021-03-04 at 1.45.48 PM

Foss Swim School opens its 9th Minnesota location in former Pier 1 store

The Eden Prairie based company has 22 locations across the Midwest.

police tape, crime scene

Charges: Minneapolis man kills woman, tells police to kill him

A convicted felon is accused of fatally shooting a 29-year-old woman on Feb. 28.

tree

It's that time of year: Minneapolis offers deal on trees for property owners

The City Trees program sells trees for $25 from March 8 to April 16, or until trees run out.

coronavirus, covid-19, doctor

CDC report reveals how first cases of Brazilian COVID variant came to MN

Dozens of people had to be tested for the virus after the first and only two cases of the P.1 variant were detected in Minnesota.

Related