A woman in Akron, Ohio was arrested and charged for reportedly buying food stamps at half their value.
Connie Payne was released on $5,000 bond after being charged with food stamp trafficking – a fifth degree felony. According to reports, police were investigating heroin trafficking in the neighborhood where Payne lived with her boyfriend. Last month, officers spotted a car at the home of a suspected drug dealer that sped away when they tried to stop it.
On Wednesday, an officer reported seeing the same car in a different location, and followed it back to Payne’s residence. Payne and her boyfriend allegedly looked around for marked cars before getting in their vehicle and speeding away.
The officer followed them and searched the car, discovering four Ohio Direction food stamp cards. One of them belonged to Payne’s boyfriend, Adrian Youngblood, but none belonged to Payne herself. 43-year-old Youngblood later told police that he sold his card to Payne for $80 because he needed the money.
Payne admitted to authorities that she bought the other cards for half of their value, though she doesn’t receive food stamp benefits from the state. According to authorities, however, 20-year-old Payne is a heroin addict who has a $50 per day habit.
The incident comes just a few months after the USDA released a report on food stamp trafficking that outlined measures to prevent future abuse of the program.