Dozens of bartenders, grocers, suspected drug dealers and others were rounded up Friday on charges of trading cocaine and money for food stamps - part of a nationwide crackdown on food-stamp trafficking.
Law enforcement agents were moving to arrest 60 people in the area around Ocilla in south Georgia on charges that they sold crack and powdered cocaine for food stamps, Agriculture Department investigators said.
In Brownsville, Texas, an additional 20 people were being arrested on charges that they purchased food stamps for cash, at 50 cents on the dollar. Among those being sought were a grocery store owner and employee, and workers in local taverns and restaurants.
Grocery stores are often targeted in trafficking investigations because authorized retailers are the only gateways through which food stamps can be redeemed in full for cash from the federal government.