Brothers charged in alleged massive THC vaping operation
The news this summer has been filled with alarming reports about people contracting lung disease after using vaping devices to smoke tobacco or marijuana products. At least seven people around the country are reported to have died, and public health officials still are not sure what is causing the problem. No deaths have yet been reported in Wisconsin.
Several state governments have moved to restrict the sales of flavored e-cigarettes and other vaping devices, and the White House has indicated it may support banning some of the products altogether.
In this climate, it can be hard to secure a fair trial for defendants who are accused of drug offenses.
Recently, two Wisconsin brothers were arrested and accused of running what police said was a large-scale drug trafficking operation focused on marijuana-derived vaping products. Police said they seized more than 31,000 e-cigarette cartridges the brothers had filled with THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. The pair would allegedly sell these cartridges for $16 each.
One of the brothers was charged with possession of THC with the intent to distribute, as well as other crimes. He is only 20 years old, according to news reports. The other brother was charged with possession of cocaine and an illegal firearm. His age was not reported.
Since the public is worries about the health hazards associated with vaping, the lawyer for one of the brothers felt it necessary to tell the news media his client was not accused of actually harming anyone.
Sometimes the practice of criminal defense requires cutting through the haze of public misunderstandings.