Convenience Store Employees Paid People To Steal Baby Formula In Scheme To Resell It, Authorities Say

Convenience store employees paid people to steal baby formula in scheme to resell it, feds say

UPDATE at 10:31 a.m.

FBI agents Friday are searching a Liberty Township home in connection to that investigation, said a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Cincinnati. The men were identified as Khalil Yacub, 44, of Liberty Township.; Khalil Jaghama of West Chester Township; and Jasser Saleh, 41, of Liberty Township.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, Yacub’s family owns and operates the Pit Stop, a convenience store in Colerain Township.

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Employees of the Pit Stop, including Yacub, Jaghama and Saleh, would allegedly pay individuals, many of them drug addicts, to work as “boosters” to steal baby formula.

The defendants would pay boosters with cash from the convenience store register for the stolen formula. For example, boosters might sell cans of stolen baby formula to the Pit Stop for $5 per can. On June 30, 2018, alone, one woman brought 40 cans of baby formula to the Pit Stop to be sold.

Before the defendants would purchase the stolen baby formula from boosters, they would often take a photo of the booster driver’s license or state ID in order to prevent the boosters from reporting co-conspirators to the police, officials said. Defendants also allegedly brandished a handgun and used a taser to intimidate and control buyers.

It is alleged that between 2017 and January 2019, the defendants stored and shipped hundreds of cans of baby formula for resale to other parts of the country. The defendants used a storage facility to warehouse the stolen goods. A GPS monitor placed on an Enfamil can in the storage facility showed that the product was transported interstate to the west coast.

The defendants are charged with conspiring to transport and transporting stolen goods. The transporting of stolen goods is a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Conspiracy to commit the crime is punishable by up to five years in prison. The defendants are also charged with unlawful possession of a means of identification, which carries a potential maximum sentence of five years in prison.

ORIGINAL REPORT: 10:21 a.m.

The FBI is serving a search warrant at a Liberty Twp. home this morning, according to the Butler County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff’s office is assisting with the serving of the warrant, which is happening at a home on Peakview Court.

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