BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) _ Manatee County detectives have charged more than 50 people as part of a food stamp fraud investigation.
The Bradenton Herald (http://bit.ly/IXmciG) reports that 53 people face a total of 78 charges related to misuse of electronic benefit transfer cards.
According to officials, an undercover detective sold EBT cards to several people, including store owners and clerks in Manatee County.
Sometimes the cards were sold for 50 cents on the dollar and in some cases, cards were traded for drugs.
The store owners and employees would then use the cards to buy items to stock their stores.
The suspects face fraud and drug charges.
Manatee detectives dubbed the investigation “Operation Meal Ticket.”