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Duluth's "Operation Crackdown": 30 arrested in connection with cocaine-for-EBT card scheme

EBT cards were apparently the currency of choice for a Twin Ports crack cocaine ring.
EBT cards were apparently the currency of choice for a Twin Ports crack cocaine ring.
Image by Tatiana Craine -- Flickr photos from chefranden, stevendepolo, and marc falardeau

Looking to score a rock in the Twin Ports? Until the cops got involved, it sounds like getting your hands on an EBT card would've helped the cause.

SEE ALSO: Jeff Dubay says he started using crack after his brother slept with his wife

Duluth police announced today they've arrested 30 people and are hunting for several more in connection with a crack cocaine ring. Those involved with the drug ring were in the habit of exchanging crack for EBT cards, law enforcement officials say.

Fittingly, the Duluth PD's nine-month investigation of the ring was called "Operation Crackdown." In connection with the investigation, police searched seven Twin Ports properties -- six in Duluth and one in Superior. Arrests were made in both cities.

Information about the crack-for-EBT scheme comes via the Duluth News Tribune:

During the investigation, task force investigators identified a trend in the narcotics trafficking -- trading so-called food stamp or EBT/SNAP cards in exchange for crack cocaine.

"These trades were made at rates equal to approximately 50 percent of the face value of the card. Crack cocaine with a street value of approximately $100 was purchased with cards holding benefits equal to $200,'' police said in this morning's release.

Several of the suspects in this case face charges related to trafficking crack cocaine and wrongfully obtaining public assistance.

"The fact that this case involved food stamp benefits being traded for narcotics makes it all the more egregious,'' the release notes.

WDIO reports that "Many of those arrested have significant criminal histories, including one with a homicide conviction who was allegedly found in a Central Hillside residence where two handguns were concealed in ceiling tiles."

For the names and mugshots of all 30 arrested thus far as part of "Operation Crackdown," click to page two.

 

Duluth's "Operation Crackdown": 30 arrested in connection with cocaine-for-EBT card scheme

-- Laquendrick Lenel As-Sidiq, 23 - 1st degree possession and sale of crack cocaine
-- Dawson Kenneth Coleman, 22, - 1 count 3rd degree sale of controlled substance, 1 count wrongfully obtaining public assistance-aid and abet
-- Christopher Forrest Cook, 36, - Violation of probation warrant for 2nd degree burglary and 5th degree controlled substance crime
-- Jarvis Michael Cunningham, 24, A.K.A. "A-1" - 4 counts 3rd degree sale of controlled substance
-- Shawn Wardell Embry, 36, A.K.A. "Detroit" - 1 count 3rd degree sale of controlled substance, 1 count 5th degree possession of a controlled substance
-- Thomas Ardell Gentry, 24, A.K.A. "Streets" - 1st degree possession and sale of crack cocaine
-- Zuriel Antwon Gray, 32, A.K.A "D-Boy, Nephew, Twan, T-Money" - 4 counts 3rd degree sale of controlled substance
-- Darrius Darrell Guyton, 28, A.K.A. "Ave" - 6 counts 3rd degree sale of controlled substance, - 6 counts 2nd degree sale of controlled substance in a school zone, 3 counts wrongfully obtaining public assistance-aid and abet
-- Matthew Dee Hollingsworth, 27, A.K.A. "Black" - 1 count 3rd degree sale of controlled substance, 2 counts sale of a simulated controlled substance
-- Anthony Alton Holloway, 26, A.K.A "T, Tone, Teeth" - Controlled substance sales charges in Douglas County, WI
-- Jeffery Holman, 55 - 1st degree possession and sale of crack cocaine
-- Darius Jared Honeycutt, 26, A.K.A. "D" - 2 counts 3rd degree sale of controlled substance
-- Albert Lewis Johnson Sr., 56, A.K.A. "Big Al" - 1 count 1st degree sale of controlled substance, 6 counts 3nd degree sale of controlled substance, 6 counts 2nd degree sale of controlled substance in a school zone, 1 count 5th degree sale of marijuana, 1 count wrongfully obtaining public assistance-aid and abet
-- Timothy Lee Johnson, 50, A.K.A. "Bagman" - 7 counts 3rd degree sale of controlled substance, 3 counts wrongfully obtaining public assistance-aid and abet
-- Leon Jones, 33, A.K.A. "Lee John" - 4 counts 3rd degree sale of controlled substance
-- Russell Eddie Lee Jones, 37, A.K.A. "Big C" - 2 counts 2nd degree sale of controlled substance, 2 counts 2nd degree sale of controlled substance in a school zone, 1 count wrongfully obtaining public assistance
-- Kenyon Rashawn Latham, 21, A.K.A "Yannie" - 1 count 3rd degree sale of a controlled substance
-- Loretta Lee McGowen, 61, - 1 count 3rd degree sale of controlled substance, 1 count liability for crimes of another
-- Latonya Alexander Moss, 25, A.K.A. "Tiny" - 1 count 3rd degree sale of, 1 count wrongfully obtaining public assistance-aid and abet
-- Juanita Moy, 58, A.K.A."TT" - 3 counts 3rd degree sale of controlled substance, 1 count 5th degree possession of controlled substance
-- Daryl Brian Pearson, 56 - 1 count 3rd degree sale of controlled substance
-- Ronald Edward Profit, 24, A.K.A "P" - 1 count 2nd degree sale of controlled, 1 count 3rd degree possession of controlled substance
-- Ronald Paris Riles, 35, A.K.A."P" - 1 count 2nd degree sale of controlled substance in a school zone and additional charges related to drug and firearms violations
-- Sylvester Robinson, 58 - 1 count 3rd degree sale of controlled substance
-- Artist Samuel Sanders, 33, A.K.A. "A-Dog" -1 count 3rd degree sale of controlled substance, 1 count 2nd degree sale of controlled substance in a school zone
-- Christopher Edward Soward, 38, A.K.A. "CJ" - 4 counts 3rd degree sale of controlled substance
-- Clinton Lee Strother, 64, A.K.A "Uncle" - 1 count 2nd degree sale of controlled substance in a school zone
-- Derrick Lamar Tyler, 45, A.K.A "Peace or Cold Peace" - Controlled substance sales charges in Douglas County, WI
-- Belinda Marie Walker, 33, A.K.A "Bey-Bey" - 6 counts 3rd degree sale of controlled substance, 2 counts 2nd degree sale of controlled substance in a school zone, 1 count wrongfully obtaining public assistance
-- Belinda Marie Walker, Sr., 56 - 4 counts 3rd degree sale of a controlled substance


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