The vaping illness that’s sweeping America has been met with swift and harsh responses by state and federal authorities. Over the weekend, New York police arrested an entire vape-dealing ring that was reportedly sitting on half a million dollars worth of illicit vape products.
Last Wednesday, New Jersey police arrested seven New Yorkers — Yang Lui, Guanglei Jijo, Candy Cheung, Guoqiang Wu, Sheng Dong, De Ying Li, and Luxia Chen — who allegedly ran an illicit vape ring. Authorities said that they seized 81 pounds of marijuana and $500,000 worth of unlicensed vape products from the seven individuals.
All seven are facing drug-related charges, and it’s believed that they dealt their hot products in both New York City and New Jersey’s Bergen County.
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Authorities are cracking down on illicit vape producers due to the vaping-associated lung illness (VAPI) epidemic. To date, VAPI has hospitalized nearly 1,400 people and killed at least 33. Public health officials don’t know what’s causing VAPI, but they believe black market vape products, which are not lab tested for safety, could be behind the VAPI outbreak.
E-cigarette products, THC vaporizing cartridges, and nicotine-infused “vape juices” are currentlly being investigated by the CDC and local health officials. Common cutting or vape-juice thickening agents, along with heavy metal contamination, are also being considered as culprits behind the VAPI epidemic.
Wednesday’s bust was big, but it wasn’t the biggest black market vape raid made so far. In September, Minnesota police seized nearly $4 million worth of illicit vape products from one home in Coon Rapids.
Earlier this month, Wisconsin police arrested a mother and her two sons who allegedly sold 5,000 illicit THC vape cartridges per day.
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