Brothers accused of running drug empire after 31,000 THC vaping products seized

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MILWAUKEE (WITI/CNN) – Two brothers accused of running a drug empire in southeast Wisconsin are now under arrest.

Authorities in Kenosha County announced the bust Wednesday.

They say they seized THC vaping products that had a street value of $1.5 million.

Investigators say 20-year-old Tyler Huffhines and 23-year-old Jacob Huffhines manufactured and distributed THC vaping cartridges.

“Of this type, this is the largest we’ve ever had and probably one of the largest in the country,” said Sheriff David Beth with the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department.

Investigators found more than 31,000 filled and ready to be shipped out.

The illegal operation may be connected to vaping illnesses across the country.

So far 6 people have died, and hundreds have become sick, including one Racine County man.

In July, his brother told Fox 6 it was after he vaped from a cartridge similar to the ones sold by the Huffhines.

It’s unclear if the incidents are connected.

“These vapes can cost you your life,” said Patrick Degrave, the victim’s brother.

While vaping has been getting negative attention, Matthew Wetzel says he’s doing it right.

He owns and operates Laughing Grass CBD dispensary in West Allis.

Wetzel has seen more than 300,000 customers since opening last year, selling popular products like CBD vapes.

“One of the things that we wanted to do is shift away from the cartridges that were being cut with MCT oil, medium triglycerides,” said Wetzel.

His products are regulated – the busted ones are not.

The arrests show it’s important to know now more than ever what you’re consuming.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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