The Manatee County Sheriff's office announced an undercover operation they've been working on for months that resulted in more than 100 arrests warrants and close to 40 arrests.
"This is a huge problem," said Manatee County Sheriff Brad Steube. "We're like one of maybe three or four law enforcement agencies in the state of Florida that have decided to do something about this."
It's called Operation Meal Ticket Two. And it has to do with just that: meal tickets in the form of EBT cards for low-income individuals being fraudulently used.
One part of the investigation centered around Gerald Millas, a local restaurant owner who police say purchased EBT cards from people for 50 to 60 cents on the dollar and then stocked his local Pizza Pros restaurants with food he bought using those cards.
"We were able to determine that he used 53 different EBT cards at Sam's Clubs," said Steube.
Police say 55 people were also caught illegally selling their EBT cards to undercover detectives.