Authorities raid two Raleigh convenience stores
Posted April 22, 2014
Authorities investigating possible food stamp fraud raided two Raleigh convenience stores Tuesday and the home of the stores’ owner.
Raleigh police were assisting agents with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Internal Revenue Service in the investigation. Authorities were seen taking boxes of items during the hourslong search at Hannah Stop ‘n’ Go on South Wilmington Street. They also raided a store by the same name on Western Boulevard.
Sources close to the investigation said the search has to do with food stamps, but they could not provide more specific information. The owner, Ali al-Darijay, declined to comment Tuesday.
People who live and work near the Wilmington store said they were not surprised by the raids.
“It’s just a bad image, and he’s been taking advantage of poor people and disabled people,” said Dwight Spencer, who works downtown.
Another convenience store down the block on South Wilmington Street, Taz’s, has been there for 32 years. Owner Taz Zarka said criminal activity doesn’t help the community.
“(If) you really want to serve your city, you want to serve your community, you do it the proper way,” he said.
Some longtime customers said they were disturbed by the investigation and said they’ve never had issues with al-Darijay.
“He’s respectful,” Tiffany Vaughn said. “He does anything in the world for anybody that he possibly can.”