A Texas man pleaded responsible immediately to promoting counterfeit vape pens imported from China, introduced Performing U.S. Legal professional for the Northern District of Texas Prerak Shah.
Christopher Andrew Reyes, 23, of The Colony, pleaded responsible Thursday to conspiracy to import drug paraphernalia.
“This defendant imported thousands of potentially dangerous black-market vaping devices,” mentioned Performing U.S. Legal professional Prerak Shah. “Given the alarming incidence of lung injuries stemming from unregulated THC vapes, we knew could not allow any more of these devices onto our streets.”
“The distribution of these black-market vaping devices is not only illegal, but could prove lethal to those who consume vape materials purchased from unregulated sources, said Ryan L. Spradlin, Special Agent in Charge Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Dallas. “These illicit items are a significant health threat in our communities and should not be available in the open market.”
Based on court docket paperwork, Mr. Reyes admitted that he allowed staff of a vaping store on Harry Hines Boulevard to order counterfeit THC vaping merchandise on-line utilizing his financial institution card. (Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the psychoactive compound present in marijuana.)
In September 2019, U.S. Customs & Border Safety brokers intercepted a cargo of two,400 counterfeit THC vaping gadgets addressed to Mr. Reyes and sure for his house. The vaping gadgets, which had been despatched from China and routed by way of DFW Worldwide Airport, bore the counterfeit trademark of a well-liked THC vape model, “Cookies.” Brokers estimated that not less than 5 further shipments of vaping merchandise had been despatched to Mr. Reyes.
In plea papers, the defendant admitted that after receiving the packages, he bought the contents again to the vaping store for revenue. His financial institution statements, which present massive purchases from Chinese language e-commerce firm Alibaba (an internet retailer just like Amazon), backed up his admissions.
Mr. Reyes now faces as much as three years in federal jail. His sentencing is about for Thursday, Aug. 26.
Following a rash of lung accidents associated to counterfeit vaping gadgets, the CDC urged the general public to keep away from THC-containing vapes, particularly these bought from unreliable on-line retailers. For extra info, seek the advice of the CDC’s E-Cig FAQ.
Homeland Safety Investigations and the Meals & Drug Administration’s Workplace of Prison Investigations carried out the investigation with the help of Customs & Border Safety. Assistant U.S. Legal professional Phelesa Man prosecuted the case alongside Trial Attorneys Patrick Runkle and Speare Hodges of the Justice Division’s Shopper Safety Department.