FBI agents searched a Liberty Twp. home on Peakview Court on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019, in connection to an investigation into a baby formula theft case. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

FBI search of Liberty Twp. home related to stolen baby formula charges

Three Butler County men have been arrested and charged in a stolen baby formula conspiracy case.

FBI agents this morning are searching a Liberty Twp. home in connection to that investigation, said a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Cincinnati. The men were identified as Khalil Yacub, 44, of Liberty Twp.; Khalil Jaghama of West Chester Twp.; and Jasser Saleh, 41, of Liberty Twp.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, Yacub’s family owns and operates the Pit Stop, a convenience store located at 2510 W. Galbraith Road in Colerain Twp.

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Employees of the Pit Stop, including Yacub, Jaghama and Saleh, would allegedly pay individuals, many of them drug addicts, to work as “boosters” to steal baby formula.

The defendants would pay boosters with cash from the convenience store register for the stolen formula. For example, boosters might sell cans of stolen baby formula to the Pit Stop for $5 per can. On June 30, 2018, alone, one woman brought 40 cans of baby formula to the Pit Stop to be sold.

Investigators searched The Pit Stop as part of an investigation into baby formula theft on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2019. ERIC SCHWARTZBERG / STAFF

Before the defendants would purchase the stolen baby formula from boosters, they would often take a photo of the booster’s driver’s license or state ID in order to prevent the boosters from reporting co-conspirators to the police, officials said. Defendants also allegedly brandished a handgun and used a taser to intimidate and control buyers.

It is alleged that between 2017 and January 2019, the defendants stored and shipped hundreds of cans of baby formula for resale to other parts of the country. The defendants used a storage facility to warehouse the stolen goods. A GPS monitor placed one an Enfamil can in the storage facility showed that the product was transported interstate to the West Coast.

The defendants are charged with conspiring to transport and transporting stolen goods. The transporting of stolen goods is a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Conspiracy to commit the crime is punishable by up to five years in prison. The defendants are also charged with unlawful possession of a means of identification, which carries a potential maximum sentence of five years in prison.

ORIGINAL REPORT: 10:21 a.m.

The FBI is serving a search warrant at a Liberty Twp. home this morning, according to the Butler County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff’s office is assisting with the serving of the warrant, which is happening at a home on Peakview Court.

We have a crew on the way to the scene and will update this story when more information becomes available.

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