A Guthrie convenience store owner pleaded guilty to nine charges, including seven counts of trafficking in food stamps, earlier this month. With his plea of guilty, he can possibly avoid serving any jail time.
Along with trafficking in food stamps, Manjit S. Hayer, also known as Gee, pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance (methamphetamine) and unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance (methamphetamine).
The Oklahoma Department of Human Services, assigned to the Food Stamp Trafficking Unit, interviewed seven people in 2019 who admitted they received items such as cigarettes and fuel with their SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefit’s card at JEET Mart (located at 1106 W. Noble Ave.).
Court documents stated Hayer, 55, gave customers cash, gas or cigarettes in exchange for SNAP benefits by swiping their SNAP EBT card and entering their pin number. Hayer would later remove the “extra” benefit from the account in return for cash, gas, cigarettes or other ineligible merchandise.
Hayer made the guilty plea on June 4 and was sentenced to a four-year suspended sentence — upon good behavior — with the Department of Corrections on the drug charges. He was given a two-year suspended sentence on the trafficking charges. Both cases will run concurrently.
Online records show Hayer paid $3,270.50 in court costs and fines.