ARRESTED: Wisconsin man accused of running illegal THC vape cartridge op
Yesterday at a White House press conference, President Trump announced his intentions to ban flavored vaping liquids within the coming months. Stating that “people are dying” and “we are going to have to do something about it,” POTUS’s concerns appear to be based on two events.
The first is an onslaught of misinformed headlines from mainstream media in recent days that claim that an outbreak of a mysterious lung ailments originating in Wisconsin is “vaping-related.” To be clear, statements such as these are as ridiculous as saying that a heroine overdose is “syringe-related.”
The second point of Trump’s inspiration for a federal vaping ban was a simple tweet from the First Lady just two days prior. And if anyone knows how useful the old saying “Happy wife, happy life” can be, it’s probably Donald J. Trump. Ms. Melania tweeted the following.
“I am deeply concerned about the growing epidemic of e-cigarette use in our children. We need to do all we can to protect the public from tobacco-related disease and death, and prevent e-cigarettes from becoming an on-ramp to nicotine addiction for a generation of youth.”
However, just as the Trumps were appearing at the White House presser with the eyes of the nation fixated upon them, officials of the Kenosha County Sheriff’s department in Wisconsin were hard at work making a potentially crucial arrest.
Wisconsin: Ground Zero of the ‘vaping-related’ lung disease conspiracy
According to NBC News, 20-year old Tyler Huffhines (and perhaps his brother Jacob – read further) is accused of running an illegal operation where his 10-person staff would “make professionally packaged cartridges” using contraband THC oils. The Black Market wannabes were apparently selling each cartridge for between $16-20 a pop, and they were selling approximately 3000- 5000 per day. Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Andrew Burgoyne stated, "Based on how everything was set up, this was a very high-tech operation that was running for some time.”
According to The Kenosha News, the Huffhines operation was caught holding 188 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of $1.5 million. Also discovered during the issuing of the search warrants were an approximate $20,000 in cash, small amounts of Xanax, eight firearms, nine cellphones, some cocaine, and of course, lots of THC oil. According to Court Commissioner Loren Keating, Huffhines apparently even had a time clock system in place for his employees, each of which earned $0.30 per illegal cartridge filled.
“This was set up almost as a business. There were vape cartridges packaged to look professionally. He had 10 employees working for him that would receive 30 cents per package while they assembled, manufactured and processed THC. (Huffhines) would stop in once a day to oversee the operation and pay them.”
Perhaps even more alarming, The Journal Sentinel (TJS) is now reporting that each of the Black Market THC cartridges contained “as much as 1000 mg of THC – more than 150 times what the label indicated.” This news outlet is also implying that Tyler’s brother Jacob may be involved. TJS further reports that the Brothers Huffhines were conducting “a major drug operation running out of a condominium in an upscale neighborhood that officials said was rented under a fake name.”
Local law enforcement officials are now said to be working with federal authorities to determine whether the illegal THC cartridges are linked to the recent outbreak of mysterious lung disorders. With over 450 cases now being reported nationwide, federal investigators are also looking into at least six deaths being possibly attributed to illegal THC vapes.
For now, however, the American Vaping Industry will likely continue to be the conspiratorial and political scapegoat – both for the mainstream press as well as for the Trump Administration.
(Image courtesy of CNN)