CHANDLER, Ariz. - Chandler Police arrested a couple accused of buying stolen baby formula and then selling it in California for profit over the last 9 months.
According to police, Rafid Khoshi, 46, and his wife Manal Sulaiman, 43, were buying stolen baby formula from boosters, who would steal it from local grocery stores and then sell it to them for 30 to 50 cents on the dollar.
Khoshi and Sulaiman would then ship the baby formula to El Cajon, Calif. and sell it to a local distributor for profit, Chandler PD says.
Police say Khoshi and Sulaiman were recruiting boosters on the app, "Offer Up." All in all, the boosters were supplying the couple with about 2,000 cans of stolen formula per month. Police said one booster supplied them with $46,000 worth of product.
That man, Jesus Tirado Lara was arrested in December for his role in the scheme.
Investigators went undercover and Chandler PD says they made 12 separate transactions with Khoshi.
Chandler PD said detectives connected the couple to 25,000 cans of formula shipped to California, equating to about $425,000 in value.
Police arrested Khoshi and Sulaiman on May 23. Khoshi is charged with 12 counts of trafficking in stolen property, 12 counts of theft, conspiracy, fraud, participating in a crime syndicate and illegal control of an enterprise.
Sulaiman is charged with two counts of trafficking in stolen property, two counts of theft, conspiracy, fraud, participating in a crime syndicate and illegal control of an enterprise.
Chandler PD said investigators made 13 additional arrests in the case, mostly boosters organized by the couple.
“This investigation was one of our largest organized retail theft cases in terms of size and scope," Chandler Police Chief Sean Duggan said in a release.