When law enforcement and other government agencies come together, good things can happen. ’s valley-wide search warrant operation involving four federal, state and local officials, made a significant arrest against an Arizona retailer suspected of defrauding the federal food stamp program.
The Governor’s Office anti-fraud Trafficking Detection Unit targets individuals who qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) known to most as food stamps, who use those benefits unlawfully. SNAP recipients can exchange benefits for eligible food items that, by law, cannot be exchanged or redeemed for cash.
During today’s search warrant, an arrest was made of Phoenix convenience store owner Joo Ho Yi, owner of the New Star Market in Phoenix. Yi is alleged to have committed 10 intentional violations of the SNAP program by illegally purchasing the benefits from EBT cards. Phoenix Police officers used a variety of investigative techniques to determine criminal activity.
“The success of this investigation is a result of our established partnerships with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies; we value these partnerships and take fraud of any kind very seriously,” said Phoenix Police Chief Daniel V. Garcia. “We believe this investigation will have a positive effect on the community we serve.
”The agencies participating in this operation included, DES Office of Special Investigations, Phoenix Police Department, U.S. Department of Agriculture/Office of Inspector General, and the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.
Joo Ho Yi has been booked for Unlawful Use of food Stamps, Sales of a Dangerous Drug and Sale of Marijuana.