With the rise in Cannabis use, people have to be careful where they get their vape products from. These two brothers are allegedly involved in producing THC-Infused vape cartridges on a grand scale and putting people’s lives at risk.
Authorities are investigating the matter and believe this could be one of the reasons for the vape-related deaths and illnesses in the country.
Jacob Huffhines and his younger brother Tyler, who are both in their twenties, were arrested from their homes. Authorities searched the brothers’ home in Paddock Lake and a condo in Bristol.
The authorities believe that the younger brother is the kingpin of the sophisticated operation. The duo was running their illegal activities through the rented condo. Sheriff David Beth said the condo was used as the headquarters for the operation.
The authorities raided the residence and found over $50,000 in cash along with drugs, guns, and equipment required to manufacture the illegal substances. Authorities said that the home was just the tip of the iceberg.
At the condo, the authorities found 31,200 vape cartridges, each having a gram of THC. During the raid, the authorities also discovered 98,000 empty cartridges ready to be filled with the substance. Fifty-seven jars, each worth an estimated $6,000 of drugs were also found.
The sheriff added that 18 pounds of marijuana and three currency counting machines were confiscated.
Sheriff Beth called it a significant operation addressing a joint press conference with other law enforcement agencies.
Authorities think that Tyler started the operation in January 2018 and used bright wrappers to package the drugs. Many employees were hired by Tyler to load the illegal THC vape cartridges with the drugs and then pack them. The packaging discreetly declared that 5mg of THC was present in the product. The actual amount was two hundred times the reported number – 1000 mg per cartridge.
Authorities got the first wind of the operations when a high schooler’s parents discovered him using vape cartridges and reported to the police. The police then traced the entire operation and found that the Huffhines brothers were running the show.
Captain Dan Baumann from Waukesha County Police said that the parents should be commended for the courage they demonstrated by reporting the case.
Twenty-year-old Tyler, who faces multiple drugs and felony charges was lodged at the Kenosha County Jail. He was released on a $500,000 bond and would appear in court on Friday.
His twenty-three-year-old brother Jacob was also held in the same prison but was released without a bond. He faces many serious charges – felony, drug and firearm possession, and probation violation.
It is not known whether the brothers have attorneys to represent them. Formal charges are yet to be filed.
The authorities are on the hunt for other people involved in this ring and are cooperating with other agencies. The CDC has confirmed vaping as the cause of five deaths. They have information for 450 cases of vaping-related illnesses in 33 states.
The authorities have not narrowed down any particular substance attributable to the illnesses, but they believe it is related to THC.
Most of the patients are males within the age group of 18 to 35 years and have admitted to using nicotine. THC is the active compound of cannabis that is responsible for the stoned feeling associated with its use.