March 24, 2016 -Springfield MA- The Office of Hampden District Attorney Anthony D. Gulluni announced today, members of the Massachusetts State Police and Springfield Police Department in cooperation with the Hampden District Attorney’s Office, executed a search warrant at 239 Dwight Street, Extension, Springfield, MA, after a lengthy investigation into food stamp trafficking.
For years, this location had been a well-known area for drug dealing. The market came under suspicion of illicit activity after members of both the Massachusetts State Police and Springfield Police Department observed persistent issues of loitering, public drinking of alcohol, and open-air drug dealing on the sidewalk in front of the market. While officers attended to alleviating the illicit activity in front of the store, an investigation began into possible criminal activity inside the store.
The investigation took place over the course of several months as officers compiled evidence identifying a scheme in which the allegations are that store management and ownership, in conjunction with customers receiving EBT/SNAP benefits (food stamps), were reconverting government issued funds into cash in return for monetary payment to the customer.
Arrested at the scene was Samuel Diaz; owner Ramon Diaz (father of Samuel) remains at large. In obtaining the search warrant, investigators citied the following offences: Larceny by Scheme [G.L. c266, §30], Food Stamp Trafficking [G.L. c18, §5L], Procurement Fraud [G.L. c266, §67A], Access Device Fraud [G.L. c167B, §21(c)], Sale of unpackaged single cigarettes [G.L. c94, §307A].
This is an on-going investigation.
Public and Media Information Director
Hampden District Attorney’s Office
50 State Street, Third Floor
Springfield, MA 01102