AUBURN — Four Lewiston men and a woman from Waterford are facing welfare fraud charges.

Police say the suspects were involved in the sale, purchase and trade of electronic benefit cards, or EBTs, issued to them through the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.

Authorities say in some cases the suspects traded the welfare cards for drugs.

Leanne Robbin, assistant attorney general who heads the financial crimes division, tells the Sun Journal the state is working with local police to identify welfare fraud cases.

Those charged Wednesday are Katherine Pike of Waterford, as well as David Stain; Manny Souza; Christopher S. Frazer; and Robert W. Baylor, all of Lewiston.

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