Police have arrested the 24-year-old operator of Ramy's Foods, Isam Abdelquader Alamawi of Chicago, after he allegedly sold drugs out of the store, ran a LINK Card scam, and fled the country to escape arrest.
The Evanston Police Department said they determined through an intelligence operation in September that Almawi was selling crack cocaine at the store and conducting fraudulent transactions with Illinois public assistance cards.
"Alamawi would swipe Illinois LINK cards, and process the amount over the actual purchase price of the items presented for sale. The customer would then be offered and given an illegal return of cash back, and Alamawi would also deduct and retain an illegal cash processing fee, charging all of this to the customer’s state of Illinois LINK card," police said.
The investigation culminated in a multi-jurisdictional warrant sweep, involving Evanston Police, the Cook County Sheriff’s department, Second District Gang Unit, Cook County State’s Attorney Investigators, Northbrook and Wilmette Police Departments, U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Cook County State’s Attorney. However, during execution of the warrants, police learned that Alamawi had fled the country to evade arrest.
This month, Alamawi was detained at a New York area airport as he attempted to return to the United States. He was transported back to the Evanston Police Department and processed on the following charges:
-4 Felony Counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance
-1 Felony Count of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance within 1000 feet of a school
-3 Felony Counts of fraudulent schemes and artifices
-2 Felony Counts of public aid wire fraud
His court date has been set for Jan. 11 at 9 a.m. in Skokie.