Three arrested in black-market baby formula scheme

RENTON, Wash. -- Police arrested three people Thursday in connection with a scheme to sell stolen baby formula in the Vietnamese black market and recovered $5,400 worth of stolen formula.

According to the Renton Police Department, an investigation into thieves stealing baby formula from local businesses, such as Safeway and QFC, led investigators to Whitney Dale-Benson and Christopher Gannon.

The couple, who are well-known thieves, agreed to sell stolen baby formula to undercover investigators, according to police. Investigators developed a relationship with Dale-Benson and Gannon, who reportedly stole more than $26,000 worth of merchandise during a five-month investigation into their activities.

According to police, investigators found out Gannon and Dale-Benson were selling the stolen formula to Nguyen Tran Nguyen, who in turn was shipping it to "her sister in Vietnam."

Dale-Benson, Gannon and Nguyen were all arrested Thursday for investigation of trafficking in stolen property. More than 200 cans of stolen baby formula were recovered and returned to the victimized businesses.

Nguyen was convicted of using a communication facility in aid of racketeering in 2009 following an investigation into brothels disguised as spas and tanning salons.