Phoenix, Arizona - Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced a State Grand Jury indicted Bejar Sadiq Abdulaziz and Gretel De La Fuente Gamez with charges of Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices, Money Laundering, Illegal Control of an Enterprise, Theft, Assisting a Criminal Syndicate, Sale or Transportation of Dangerous Drugs, Sale or Transportation of Narcotic Drugs, and Unlawful Use of Food Stamps.
Starting in 2017, Abdulaziz and De La Fuente Gamez are accused of selling illegal drugs in exchange for food stamps, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, or conducting these drug sales in exchange for cash. The drug transactions are alleged to have occurred at the Azad Market, a Glendale convenience store owned and run by Abdulaziz and De La Fuente Gamez. The alleged transactions include cocaine, spice, methamphetamine, and THC vape cartridges.
The charges are based on an investigation conducted by detectives with Drug Enforcement Bureau of the Phoenix Police Department, along with special agents with United States Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General (USDA/OIG).
USDA/OIG has the responsibility of protecting the integrity of SNAP. Retailers who engage in SNAP fraud exploit the program’s beneficiaries, and misuse the substantial funding that taxpayers provide. USDA/OIG works to ensure SNAP funds are used for their intended purpose which is to feed families.
All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Assistant Attorney General Kimberly Nye is prosecuting this case.