"Operation T-bone" - Fencing Operations Funneling money to Yemen - Steaks
shoplifted leads to 11 stores raided & 242 arrest warrants issued for massive
food stamp fraud in Alabama - Funding terrorism? A couple of steaks
shoplifted at a Gardendale Walmart three months ago led to the biggest food
stamp fraud investigation in Jefferson County's history, and launched 11
simultaneous raids at convenience stores countywide.
Led by the Jefferson
County District Attorney's Office, teams of law enforcement officers. The
officers and agents were armed with 242 arrest warrants and plans to arrest
The massive probe, dubbed Operation T-bone
, targeted those they say have
been cheating the food stamp system to the tune of hundreds of thousands of
dollars and sending at least some of the profits via wire transfer to Yemen.
The investigation began in February when Gardendale police arrested a man for
and some other items at Walmart in that city. When they
interviewed the suspect, he said he was boosting the items to give to two
, and he named the stores, authorities said.
Investigators contacted Walmart's Global Investigations Unit
in an effort
to let them know they would like to attempt to sell property represented to be
stolen to those stores, but when they told Walmart the nature of their probe,
they learned the conglomerate was already investigating those two convenience
stores for EBT fraud.
Simply put, they learned, the store owners and
managers were using EBT cards that did not belong to them to buy goods in bulk
to sell at their stores. ..."
This is huge for us,'' Jefferson County District Attorney Brandon Falls told
AL.com. The defendants are accused of buying the government-issued debit
cards from those who legally qualified to have them, and then using them to
purchase bulk food products to stock their store shelves. The pervasive scheme
cheated the food stamp system out of hundreds of thousands of dollars,
The 19 people arrested were charged with public assistance
fraud, fraudulent use of a credit card and theft of property. nydailynews.com
"Operation Midnight Run" - $1.5M Theft Ring Involving Beer, Tires, Auto Parts,
And Beauty Products Busted An organized cargo theft ring spanning New
York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania stole $1.5 million in tractor-trailer
trucks containing goods including auto parts, face lotions, Guinness and
mozzarella cheese and then sold them, state authorities said Friday.
From June 2012 to April of this year, a dozen men conspired to build a network
of illicit warehouses and stockrooms filled with stolen goods, driving away with
nine trucks and making two purchases of additional products, the state Attorney
General's Office said.
The defendants who allegedly stole and fenced the cargo operated the theft
ring in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. Twelve men have been indicted
on charges they conspired in a $1.5 million series of thefts involving
tractor-trailers loaded with clothing, beauty products, auto parts, beer and
other cargo, N.J. Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced Friday.
The defendants who allegedly stole and fenced the cargo operated the theft ring
in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, according to a release from the
Attorney General's Office. The 12 members of the cargo theft ring allegedly
worked together in various combinations to steal tractor-trailers containing
cargo from New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, according to the release.
The ring allegedly rented space at a furniture store in Hillside, which
authorities said contained fish oil supplements, Bell bicycle parts, bedding and
juices, all from trucks that had been stolen from different locations.
Manus owned warehouse on Midland Avenue in Saddle Brook, N.J. where
Corning catalytic converters - stolen on June 20, 2012 and worth more than
$120,000 - were recovered. Manus allegedly fenced goods stolen by the ring,
buying them himself or finding a buyer, according to the release. At that
warehouse, investigators also recovered pallets of beer - including a large
amount of Guinness stout - worth more than $23,000, which allegedly were stolen
by the theft ring in Easton on June 22, 2012.
The Thursday indictment stems from "Operation Midnight Run," a long-term
investigation by the State Police Interstate Theft North Unit, the New Jersey
Division of Criminal Justice Specialized Crimes Bureau and the U.S. Department
of Homeland Security Border Enforcement Security Task Force.
● The stolen cargo ran the gamut from $120,000 worth of catalytic converters,
$165,000 worth of Moroccanoil hair and body products, $152,000 worth of GNC fish
oil capsules, $65,000 worth of bedding, more than $77,000 worth of Bell bicycle
parts, more than $9,000 worth of Little Hug juices stolen in Passaic, $201,000
worth of clothing, $143,000 worth of Niva skin lotion, $151,000 of Goodyear
"We allege that this ring was stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in
cargo and transporting it through New Jersey on a regular basis so that they
could fence the stolen products and reap major profits."
ORC Gang member in Saratoga County, N.Y., gets 55 months in fed. prison -
$671,183.25 in ORC thefts from Buffalo retailers A 35-year-old
Saratoga County man was ordered by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara Friday
to serve a 55-month federal prison term and make $671,183.25 in restitution
to Buffalo-area retail chains for his role in an organized shoplifting gang
that stole hundreds of thousands of dollars in merchandise. Terry Stewart, of
the village of Stillwater, was convicted of engaging in a racketeering
conspiracy for his role in the gang that shoplifted merchandise from Walmart,
Sears, Home Depot, JoAnn Fabrics, Tops and Wegmans stores throughout the
Buffalo area. The shoplifters then sold the goods for 25 cents on the dollar
to Rico Vendetti of Rochester, who, in turn, sold them on eBay, mainly to
out-of-state customers, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony M. Bruce.
Vendetti is jailed and awaiting sentencing on his felony murder conviction
for the death of Homer Marciniak, 78, during a home invasion at Marciniak's
Medina home in July 2010, the prosecutors said. Among the items sold on eBay by
Vendetti for Stewart and other gang members were breast pumps, whitening strips,
cross stitch and needlepoint kits, electric toothbrushes, thumb drives, pet
supplements, razors and tool sets, prosecutors said.
Serial refunders busted at Secaucus Walmart store - outstanding warrants in 6
other locations Temujin Washington, 48, and Sandy R. Allen, 50, were
stopped at 4:48 p.m. after trying to return a Slingbox valued at $149 for store
credit. Knowing that the item -- a TV streaming device -- was never purchased at
the store, Washington and Allen were both charged with theft by deception.
According to police, Washington had four outstanding warrants in four separate
locations: Clifton for $1,131, Passaic for $372, Totowa for $230 and Woodland
Park for $199. Police also said that Allen had two additional outstanding
warrants out of Wayne and Paramus totaling $1,641 between the two. nj.com