Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- State lawmakers want to know how a man wanted in South Carolina for attempted murder was living in and receiving New York benefits. Edward Lamar Moses was arrested in Fulton Monday and showed a valid New York State Electronic Benefits Card (EBT) to police.
Moses has been at the top of Darlington County’s Most Wanted List for months, yet somehow he was able to move to Cato, apply for and get public assistance from New York State while on the run. Moses showed police his EBT card when asked for ID the day he was arrested.
"You could maybe see someone slipping through the cracks here or there, but this guy is wanted for attempted murder in South Carolina, it seems incredible that we don't have some kind of check on these people to make sure we're not giving public assistance to people who obviously don't deserve it but also would be using it to hide or run from the law," Assemblyman Will Barclay said.
Senator John DeFrancisco is equally upset about this case calling it "a perfect example of wasteful government spending" and says he's been talking about tightening the requirement for benefits and plans to address it again in this year's budget.
Barclay, who's investigating what happened, wants to see if there's a simple criminal background check that would red flag situations like this.
"Unfortunately a lot of my colleagues in Albany don't want to put any kind of tightening on providing public assistance and there's some public policy reasons for that I don't always agree with," Barclay said.
The State Office that handles these kinds of benefits has not commented, nor has it provided any answers about how Edward Lamar Moses was able to get an EBT card and how much in the way of benefits he was actually provided.
Local prosecutors are still working out extradition arrangements to return Moses to South Carolina to face attempted murder and kidnapping charges.