SNAP/EBT (Food Stamp) Trafficking
SNAP (Food Stamp) EBT trafficking is a growing trend in Florida. It involves both SNAP benefit recipients and the owners and employees of EBT authorized retail stores. Trafficking occurs when SNAP benefits are exchanged for cash or for other consideration (narcotics, firearms, ammunition or explosives, for example) at retail stores through the use of Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards. SNAP trafficking is a cash business that spawns other crimes within a community including: drugs, prostitution and illegal gambling.
Citizens who are buying or selling EBT cards are also trafficking. Purchasing food with SNAP benefits with the intent to sell the food or exchange the food for cash or other consideration is also considered trafficking. With the increased use of social networking, the open selling of EBT cards by advertising them on social networking sites or on public listings such as Craigslist and EBay is also on the rise.
SNAP trafficking is a felony in Florida!
It is a growing trend that fuels criminal activity and endangers our communities. Store owners and employees are getting rich exploiting a program put in place to help Florida’s families in need. That’s why local, state and federal law enforcement agencies are stepping up to the plate to combat this crime and all the problems it plagues our communities with.
Do you know of any retail stores that exchange Snap Benefits for cash or buy EBT cards? If you do, we encourage you to report it to the Department of Financial Services.
As of 1991, the Division of Public Assistance Fraud has served as the State Law Enforcement Bureau for the State of Florida. SLEB was established to combat the illegal trafficking of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) benefits. It is a partnership between the State of Florida and the Food & Nutrition Service (FNS) of the US Department of Agriculture. Its purpose is to coordinate and support federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in their efforts to attack the problem of SNAP EBT trafficking.
Becoming a member of SLEB is simple.
There is no fee or cost for your agency to become a member. It only requires signing an agreement delineating the requirements for the proper control and use of any issued EBT cards and the coordinating with SLEB on any investigation involving a retailer and/or others suspected of trafficking SNAP EBT benefits. Periodic reports are also needed by the SLEB in order to report investigative efforts to FNS.