- Associated Press - Thursday, December 18, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) - Authorities say the owner of a Springfield convenience store and market has been arrested in connection with the unlawful use of Electronic Benefit Transfer cards and food stamps. Ten illegal gaming machines also were found.

The Attorney General’s Office says state police arrested 55-year-old Julio Rodriguez at his store, Bethania’s Fish and Meat Market, Thursday. He’s charged with larceny, food stamp trafficking, and unlawful operation of a gaming device.

Authorities allege Rodriguez swiped customer’s EBT cards and entered fraudulent information, indicating they’d purchased groceries eligible under the food stamp program. They say he’d give customers cash for half the amount charged to their cards and take the rest as his profit.

Rodriguez is to be arraigned Friday in Springfield District Court. It wasn’t immediately known if he has a lawyer.

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