Police say gift cards used in drug transactions

Police say gift cards used in drug transactions

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ATLANTA -

Law enforcement officials in metro Atlanta say gift cards are being used to convert drug cash.

At a property in northeast Atlanta, police executing a search warrant seized 49 gift cards. They believe the cards are the criminals' latest method to convert cash.

"Basically, it's a way to store money," said Sgt. Greg Lyon of the Atlanta Police Department. "Lots of times MasterCard, Visa, American Express will have large quantity gift card denominations. You can buy $100 or $200 gift cards."

The method isn't limited to Atlanta. A top official in the Cobb County District Attorney's Office, Jason Saliba, said investigators found a number of $100 gift cards in a search last week.

County investigators say it's an effort to conceal large purchases.

Lyon said that the word has gotten out to the customers.

"Some drug transactions are taking place with gift cards," Lyon said. "Instead of carrying cash, to say a drug deal, person trying to buy drugs are carrying gift cards."

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