Evanston police today executed a search warrant on two businesses at the intersection of Church Street and Dodge Avenue in connection with an ongoing food stamp fraud investigation.
The police special operations group targeted the A.J. Mini Mart at 1901 Church St. and the adjoining A.J. Wireless at 1700 Dodge Ave.
Above: Not today — a Link Card sign at the now shuttered A.J. Mini Mart. Top: City officials declared the building unfit for human habitation.
Police Cmdr. Jay Parrott says the department has been investigating LINK card fraud in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Secret Service. Agents from the federal agencies assisted in the investigation and execution of the warrant today.
City employees from the fire department, health department and property standards also accompanied law enforcement officers, looking for evidence of building code violations at the businesses.
The now-closed A.J. Wireless store.
Parrott says officers recovered records and numerous items of electronics. He said police believe stolen electronic devices were being taken by employees of the A.J. Wireless store in exchange for cash.
Parrott says two subjects are in custody and charges are pending.
It seems strange that the City would condemn this building as "unfit for human occupancy" — maybe there really were egregious building code violations, but it seems that they just tacked on that sign because of criminal activities. I'm not saying this guy should or should not be able to continue to operate his business, but the building violations appear to be trumped up. However, I could be wrong on that — just raising the point.
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