Unless you’ve been in a Rapunzel-style sleep for the last year or so, you know that vaping trendy, potentially dangerous., and even deadly. And when something is both popular and edgy, it can be the perfect environment for crime. Police in Wisconsin recently arrested a man who's accused of heading up a 10-man operation that manufactured thousands of counterfeit THC oil vaping cartridges, The Associated Press reports. This news comes as officials are investigating vaping-related illnesses that have left over 400 people sick and six dead across the U.S.
Tyler Huffhines, 20, allegedly had employees fill approximately 3,000 to 5,000 cartridges loaded with THC oil each day starting in 2018. They reportedly sold them for $16 each. “Based on how everything was set up, this was a very high-tech operation that was running for some time,” Andrew Burgoyne, Kenosha County assistant district attorney, said, according to The AP.
The Kenosha News reported that authorities’ raid of Huffhines’s property turned up 188 pounds of marijuana, THC oil, eight firearms, and about $20,000 in cash.
Vaping involves using a heated device to inhale a liquid solution with ingredients such as chemical additives, flavoring, and nicotine or THC, which is found in marijuana. Recently, the CDC recently issued a warning about vaping modified e-cigarettes or using ingredients bought off of the street, after The spate of vaping-related lung disorders. The Food and Drug Administration is also looking into a chemical oil that comes from Vitamin E, and has been tied to marijuana-related vaping illnesses. (No official link has been made between Huffhines's alleged crimes and the sick individuals).
Interestingly enough, Huffhines’s local paper, The Kenosha News, has written about him before. When he was in high school, he sold athletic shoes online, and the story’s quippy headline was: “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.” Huffhines seems to have allegedly switched to a more dangerous (but equally trendy) line of work.