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Gas-station manager faces 19 charges, pleads innocent



Published: Thu, September 7, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



WARREN -- A Poland man who manages the Hubbard Gas & amp; Mini Mart was arraigned Wednesday in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court on 19 charges related to illegal activities at the store.

Gurmit Kapoor Singh, 50, 7620 Brookside Place, was arraigned by Judge W. Wyatt McKay. He pleaded innocent and his bond was set at $5,000. His next hearing is set for 8:30 a.m. Oct. 2 before Judge Peter Kontos.

Singh faces eight counts of illegal use of food stamps or Women Infants and Children program benefits, five counts of telecommunications fraud, five counts of possession of criminal tools and one count of aggravated trafficking in drugs.

Singh was arrested Tuesday at the store at 175 Youngstown-Hubbard Road. He was secretly indicted by a county grand jury.

About the charges

Lt. Robin Lees of the Mahoning Valley Law Enforcement Task Force said some of the charges relate to using state equipment to "swipe" food stamp cards in a device that reads the cards while committing some of the crimes.

Hubbard police said Singh's arrest followed a 14-month investigation involving their department, the task force and the Ohio Investigative Unit of the Ohio Department of Public Safety that began when officers suspected drug activity going on at the business.

Officials say Singh sold morphine for cash and traded cash and other items not allowed for food stamps. Singh gave customers cash, gasoline and other items worth about half of the food-stamp value, said Rita Raimer, agent in charge of the Ohio Investigate Unit.




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