Wisconsin brothers accused of running giant vaping operation

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A Wisconsin man accused of running a massive illegal vaping operation with his brother is facing multiple drug charges, court records show.

Tyler Huffhines, 20, was charged Monday with possession of THC with intent to distribute, maintaining a place for drug trafficking and other crimes, the records show.

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He has not entered a plea.

His brother, Jacob Huffhines, has been charged with possession of cocaine and a firearm.

Tyler Huffhines.Kenosha County Sheriff’s Office / via AP

Lawyers for the brothers did not respond to requests for comment Monday, but Tyler Huffhines’ lawyer, Mark Richards, told the court Monday that his client “did not get caught killing somebody. He didn’t get caught harming someone. But that’s what they want you to believe.”

Court documents released Monday said that Huffhines ran the operation out of a condo in the village of Bristol, south of Milwaukee, according to NBC affiliate WTMJ.

The documents say that authorities seized 31,200 vape cartridges, each containing a gram of THC, along with 98,000 unfilled cartridges and 57 mason jars that contained more than 1,600 ounces of liquid THC, according to the station.

Authorities have alleged that Huffhines employed 10 people for two years to manufacture and sell thousands of counterfeit cartridges daily. Each cartridge sold for $16, prosecutors have said.

Huffhines allegedly told police that he reinvested all the proceeds back into his operation.

“You invest more, you make more,” the documents quote him saying, according to WTMJ. “No risk, no reward.”

Huffhines and brother Jacob Huffhines, 23, were arrested this month after officials say they traveled to California to allegedly buy dozens of jars of THC for $300,000 WTMJ reported.

Jacob Huffhines, who was charged with possession of cocaine and a firearm, was being held in lieu of $50,000 bond, court records show.

Tyler Huffhines was being held in lieu of $500,000 bond.

Lawyers for the brothers did not respond to requests for comment Monday, but Tyler Huffhines’ lawyer, Mark Richards, told the court Monday that his client “did not get caught killing somebody. He didn’t get caught harming someone. But that’s what they want you to believe.”

Sept. 11, 201902:35

The charges come as health authorities across the country have linked six deaths and hundreds of lung illnesses to vaping. Authorities in Wisconsin have not reported vaping-related deaths.

Though it’s unclear what’s behind the illnesses, authorities in New York state have focused on Vitamin E acetate. The state’s health department said it found high levels of the supplement in vaping products that contained cannabis.

Last week, the White House announced plans to ban the sale of non-tobacco-flavored electronic cigarettes amid the vaping crisis.

And on Sunday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he was moving to restrict the sale of flavored e-cigarettes to young people.