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Brothers arrested after $1.5 million THC cartridge operation discovered in Kenosha County

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KENOSHA COUNTY, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A drug bust in Kenosha County leads to the arrest of two brothers, 20-year-old Tyler Huffhines and his 23-year old brother Jacob Huffhines. Authorities discovered more than $1.5 million worth of THC products during a search of two properties.

Sheriff David Beth calls Tyler the “ringleader of the operation.”

“We know there are other people involved in this and we are actively searching for them,” Beth said.

On Thursday the Huffhines’ home in Paddock Lake was searched, and a Bristol condo the Sheriff says was rented out under a fake name.

In the Paddock Lake home, authorities found $59,000, eight firearms and ammunition, 0.6 grams of cocaine, 10.6 grams of marijuana, nine cell phones, Xanax pills, and drug paraphernalia.

In the condo, authorities found 31,200 vape cartridges filled with THC and 98,000 cartridges unfilled. They also found 57 mason jars filled with approximately 1,616 ounces of refined liquid THC and 18 pounds of marijuana.

“They get the empty cartridges, bring them into their condo, pay 10 people to come in and inject them and then they ship them out,” Beth said. 

Many of the cartridges were disguised in packaging that mimics candy. Sheriff Beth is warning parents to be on alert. Anyone can buy the packaging online. 

"You never know what you're getting your hands onto, and you can get seriously sick from stuff on the street because it's not labeled correctly," said Sheriff Beth.

“If you, as a parent, see anything that looks like, well it’s just sour patch, it’s just cherry - it’s not candy,” he said. "It’s highly potent drugs.”

The Sheriff says the operation started in January 2018 and was brought to their attention after parents of a high school boy in Waukesha made their son go to the police with information and officers traced it back to the Huffhines.

“These parents were courageous for what they did,” Waukesha County Police Captain Dan Baumann said. “They should be commended.”

The Sheriff thinks the Huffhines’ operation could be linked to the hundreds of cases of people across the nation getting sick from vaping and even dying.

“This is not recreational,” Sheriff Beth said. “This is a major operation that deals with distribution across the country and people are getting hurt and dying from this every single day.”

As of Wednesday evening, the brothers have not been charged yet.

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