Wisconsin pair face charges in counterfeit THC vape case

A Milwaukee man and woman have been accused of trafficking counterfeit vapes containing tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC), which are illegal in the state of Wisconsin.

During the course of the investigation a house frequented by Govanny “Gio” Molina (34) and Amanda Ware (30) was searched and found to contain nearly $1m in cash and 10,000 THC vaping cartridges.

Police also found 18 pounds of marijuana in addition to the cartridges filled with THC oil, as well as a loaded handgun, according to local news reports. They face charges of maintaining a drug trafficking place, use of a dangerous weapon, and possession with intent to distribute.

Counterfeit THC vapes are emerging as the front runner in an epidemic of respiratory illness across the US which as of October 3 had caused more than 1,000 lung injuries and 18 deaths.

Wisconsin has not reported any deaths but there are a few dozen cases of lung injury, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, which says the outbreak is advancing at a “brisk pace.”

There were bags and jars labelled ‘Power Wreck’ and ‘State Flower’ as well as Valhalla brand packages of cannabis-infused gummies, according to a report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Wisconsin brothers Tyler and Jacob Huffhines – along with their mother Courtney Huffhines – were arrested last month and subsequently charged with operating an illegal vape manufacturing operation.

Courtney Huffhines was aware of the illicit activity and allowed some of the products to be assembled in a back room in her real estate office, according to a criminal complaint.

At a preliminary court hearing towards the end of September, it emerged that Tyler Huffhines set up an account on social media platform SnapChat under the moniker ‘Wisco Bag Boy’ and used it to peddle the illegal vapes to customers.

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