Four Hudson Valley residents admitted they used food stamps to buy heroin.

On Thursday, the Ulster County District Attorney's office announced four Ellenville residents confessed to using SNAP benefits to buy drugs.

Melinda Baker, 51, Melissa Quick, 39, Paula Sciancalepore, 53, and Robin Shaver,58, all pleaded guilty to criminal use of a public benefit card.

All four were arrested as part of a federal, state and local joint task force investigation into a heroin distribution ring which operated in Ellenville, officials say.

During the course of the investigation, law enforcement learned all four were cheating the food stamp system by selling their Electronic Benefit Transfer cards, issued through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, for roughly 50 cents on the dollar and using the cash to purchase heroin, according to the Ulster County District Attorney's office.

More From Hudson Valley Post