On Sept. 23, Minnesota authorities confiscated nearly 77,000 illicit THC vaping cartridges from a residence in Coon Rapids. The bust is thought to be the one of the largest drug busts in state history.
According to media reports, the Northwest Metro Drug Task Force raided a home and uncovered the cartridges, which have an estimated street value of $3.8 million. Investigators believe they were brought in from another state so they could be distributed locally. However, they are uncertain if they are legal products from other states or black market products that were shipped in. In addition to the cartridges, investigators found other THC and marijuana products and $23,380 in counterfeit cash in the home. A man in the residence was taken into custody, but the charges against him were not disclosed.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that there have been at least 530 cases of vape-related illnesses across the country. Meanwhile, there have been around 43 confirmed vape-related illnesses in Minnesota, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. There are also 24 other potential cases still under review. Health officials urge people not to use THC vaping cartridges from illegal sources because they could contain toxic substances.
People who are facing drug charges might assume they have limited defense options and have no choice but to plead guilty. However, that isn’t necessarily true. After reviewing the details of the case, an attorney might develop a solid defense to the accusations and successfully challenge the charges. It may also be possible for the attorney to negotiate a plea deal that lowers the charges, which could result in a more lenient sentence. For example, under certain circumstances, first-time offenders could be allowed to complete a drug diversion program instead of going to prison.