The three Salamaca brothers of Holley were arrested Tuesday on charges of food stamp trafficking and untaxed cigarette sales at their Murray’s Superette business on Ridge Road in Holley.
Orleans County District Attorney Joseph V. Cardone said in Albion that the arrests followed a 15-month investigation by the Orleans County Major Felony Crime Task Force and the Orleans County Department of Social Services’ welfare fraud unit. All three suspects were remanded to the Orleans County Jail here after their arraignments in Gaines Town Justice Court
Tuesday the task force with federal agents, agents from the county welfare fraud unit and sheriff’s deputies raided the Ridge Road business, along with the Salamaca brothers homes and their local Salamaca Estate Winery. Task Force Supervising Investigator Joseph F. Sacco said the raiders seized 64 cartons of untaxed cigarettes, over $22,000, a loaded handgun and several rifles and shotguns, along with numerous financial records, state benefit cards, and computer equipment.
Cardone said the probe covered allegedly illegal activity conducted by the three brothers since July 2014. He said the investigation showed the businessmen and their employees illegally exchanged supplement nutritional assistance program food stamps for cash, paying customers 70 percent of the value of the food stamps they got from them. They were also accused of allowing customers to use food stamps to purchase items not authorized under the food stamp program, including regular and untaxed cigarettes, alcohol, New York State lottery tickets and gasoline and a number of other non-permissible items.
Alexander R. Salamaca, 49, of Kendall Road, Holley, and Myron B. Salamaca, 60, of Kendall Road, Holley, and Olec (cq) L. Salamaca, 62, of Ridge Road, Holley, were all charged with single counts of misuse of food stamps, third-degree welfare fraud, third-degree grand larceny, first-degree scheme to defraud, criminal possession of more than 10,000 untaxed cigarettes, fourth degree criminal tax fraud for allegedly evading New York State sales tax mandates.
Olec L. Salamaca was individually charged with a felony count of first-degree criminal use of a public benefit card.
All three brothers were also charged with 41 counts of criminal sale of untaxed cigarettes.
Cardone and Sacco said the investigation of the schemes is continuing and more arrests are expected with the total fraud estimated to reach well into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
All three brothers face further proceedings Monday in the Gaines Town Justice Court.