Siblings Tyler Huffhines, 20, and Jacob Huffhines, 23, were arrested on September 5 in Kenosha, Wisconsin, where cops say they ran an illegal TCH vape cartridge empire
Inside the illegal THC-infused vaping empire two brothers ran from rented Wisconsin condo, police recovered 120K vape cartridges, eight guns, 57 mason jars filled with liquid THC and $59,000 in cash
The brothers started by paying team of ‘juicers’ $20 an hour to fill cartridges with potent THC liquid
The filled cartridges were packaged in brightly colored boxes masquerading under the names of fruit or candy flavors
Amid the epidemic of vape related lung illnesses in the country, authorities are investigating whether the Huffhines operation is linked to any illnesses
CDC reports six deaths and 380 cases of lung illness in 36 states linked to vaping
Tyler Thomas Huffhines, [left] and his older brother Jacob David Huffhines, [right] were arrested last week in Kenosha County, Wisconsin after a raid of their secret cottage TCH vaping operation
Tyler Thomas Huffhines, 20, and Jacob David Huffhines, 23, were arrested last week in Kenosha County, Wisconsin after simultaneous raids on their home and a secret headquarters in a rented condo.
The raid police said has exposed an illegal TCH vape cartridge empire that cops say was run by two Wisconsin brothers. – Cops discovered 31,200 vape cartridges filled with one gram of THC each and another 98,000 unfilled cartridges in the condo during the raid on September 5.
Police also recovered eighteen pounds of raw marijuana and 57 Mason jars filled with approximately 1616 ounces of refined liquid THC, which investigators believe was purchased from California.
‘This is a major, major operation,’ Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth said at a press conference announcing the charges.
Local investigators are now cooperating with federal officials to determine whether the illicit operation is linked to any of the six deaths and 380 cases of severe lung illness that have been tied to vaping across the country.
Sheriff David Beth talks about the THC-infused vaping cartridges that were part of a large-scale marijuana operation during a news conference in Kenosha County
‘The parents were focused on holding their son accountable,’ said Capt. Dan Baumann of the Waukesha Police Department.
‘These parents were courageous for what they did and should be commended.’
Investigators worked up through five layers of dealers before they discovered where the Huffhines brothers’ set up their operations headquarters in a Bristol condominium, which had been rented under a false name.
Aside from the drug operation, the barely furnished condo had only a table, chairs and television.
Initially, the brothers paid workers $20 an hour and even maintained time cards, Sheriff Beth said.
But they later discovered they could maximize profits by paying workers 30 cents per cartridge filled, according to Beth.
The filled cartridges were packaged in brightly colored boxes touting the names of fruit or candy flavors.
‘It looks like candy in these vaping cigarettes. It’s not candy, it’s highly potent drugs,’ said Beth.
A simultaneous raid was conducted on the Huffhines home in nearby Paddock Lake, where the brothers lived with their mother and grandfather.
Inside that home, police recovered $59,000 in cash and eight firearms and ammunition.
Also found were nine cell phones, 0.6 Grams of cocaine, 10.6 grams of marijuana, and nine Xanax pills.
In a report this week, the Centers for Disease Control said that six have died and at least 380 have been severely sickened from vaping-related illness.
In nearly all cases, patients reported using THC vape cartridges before falling ill, though a few said they only used nicotine e-cigarettes, the CDC said..
‘Their focus was on making money,’ remarked Sheriff Beth. ‘The health of others or the safety of others was never a serious concern.’
Both brothers are being held in the Kenosha County Jail without bond. It was unclear whether they had attorneys to speak on their behalf.
While the investigation is ongoing, the younger Huffhines, Tyler, is charged with manufacturing THC more than 10,000 grams, possession with intent to manufacture, distribution of THC more than 10,000 Grams, maintaining a drug house, and unauthorized use of individual’s personal identifying information.
Jacob Huffhines is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of cocaine, and a felony probation hold.