Man Arrested in Counterfeit Vape Scheme

A 10-man operation, run from his mother's condo, produced up to 5,000 counterfeit cartridges a day.

A 20-year-old Wisconsin man is accused of an elaborate plot to manufacture thousands of counterfeit vaping cartridges.

According to local authorities, since January 2018, Tyler Huffhines ran a "very high-tech" operation that included a staff of 10 employees. 

According to a report from WISC-TV, employees filled from 3,000 to 5,000 counterfeit cartridges a day. Each pack was professionally packaged and sold for about $16, which works out to $48,000 to $80,000 of product each day. According to the Kenosha News, the employees, who also had time cards, received just 30 cents per package.

A team of agencies that included the DEA searched two area homes, where they found 188 pounds of marijuana, THC oils and about $20,000 in cash. 

According to the Kenosha News, Huffhines ran the operation out of his mother's condominium. 

Warnings issued by health officials say that buying counterfeit vaping cartridges is dangerous. As of press time, approximately 450 cases across 33 states have linked the fake product to severe lung disease. Six people have died in California, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, and Oregon -- though it is unknown if Huffhines' product is tied to the illnesses or deaths. 

Huffhines is quite the entrepreneur. Two years ago, he was in the news for establishing a resale business while still in high school. The student made thousands by reselling everything from shoes to desks. He also had a real estate license as well as a used car dealer license.

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