Damn Shame: Police Bust Drug Dealer Selling Crack For Food Stamp & Child Support Cards
WELLSTON, MO (KTVI-FOX2now.com) Ã¢â‚¬â€
A drug bust in Wellston leads police to believe people have been buyingÃ‚Â crack cocainewith food stamps and child support. The police chief says a state investigation into the fraud is now underway.”It hurts and infuriates me to think it’s my tax dollars they’re using to buy drugs,” said Wellston Police Chief G. Thomas Walker.Food stamps now come in the form of debit cards, and inÃ‚Â Missouri, child support can be put on cards as well. Wellston detectives raided a suspected drug home in the 6400 block of Hobart and, along with 6 grams of crack cocaine, fifteen grams of marijuana, four guns and several knives, they discovered more than 60 of the cards. They believe people were trading their cards for drugs.
“It appears the suspect was accepting not only cash, jewelry, electronics, but also food stamp cards, social security cards, child support cards, and we also believe that he was producing pornography out of the residence. We believe some of his payment was in favors,” said an undercover detective who made the bust.Walker says stores are not supposed to accept the cards with photo ID, “but a lot of the times the stores are busy, or some of the clerks may be lax.””I doubt he’d be accepting them if he hadn’t known they can be used,” he added.The cards also require PINs to be entered when they are used, but the detective says it appeared people hand-printed the PINs on the back of the card so the dealer could have them.Walker says this is one of several active cases. He says he’s declaring war on the drug dealers, and busting this dealer was a bonus. Those cards also all have names printed on them, so detectives believe they even know who was buying.”Our intent is to shut it all down, and it is a war, because every time you shut one down, they find another way to open up another,” said the detective.Walker said, “no place is going to be completely crime free, but we’d like to be as close as possible, the residents here deserve that”The suspect is in his 50’s, and he has prior drug convistions, police said, but because he is not yet charged in this case he is not in custody.