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'No risk, no reward': Huffhines brothers face multiple felonies for reported vaping operation

Posted: 2:45 PM, Sep 16, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-17 08:08:59-04
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KENOSHA — Tyler Huffhines was charged with five felonies and Jacob Huffhines was charged with three felonies and two misdemeanors Monday in Kenosha County Court.

Tyler Huffhines was charged with three counts of possession with intent to deliver THC of more than 10,000 grams, maintaining a drug trafficking place and identity theft for financial gain.

Jacob Huffhines was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon, repeater, repeater; possession of cocaine, second and subsequent offense; possession of THC, second and subsequent offense; possession of drug paraphernalia, repeater; and possession of a controlled substance, repeater. The last two charges are misdemeanors; the other three are felonies.

In July and August, a detective with the Waukesha Police Department began investigating a drug trafficking organization. A confidential informant provided information about Tyler Huffhines, who was named by the informant as the head of a drug-dealing operation that was manufacturing THC cartridges in hotel rooms, according to the criminal complaint.

The informant said Tyler Huffhines purchased a condo in August and was manufacturing the cartridges and storing them at a residence in the village of Bristol, according to the criminal complaint.

The informant said they observed thousands of THC cartridges and THC buds in the condo, according to the complaint. The informant also reportedly said Tyler did not live at the condo, but he used it solely to manufacture and store the drugs.

Items seized at the condo included 31,200 vape cartridges with about 1 gram of THC each, about 98,000 unfilled vape cartridges, 57 Mason jars filled with about 1,616 ounces of refined liquid THC, about 18.5 pounds of marijuana, three money-counting machines, thousands of empty vape cartridge boxes and packaging, and miscellaneous drug paraphernalia used to produce the filled cartridges. The substance from one of the Mason jars tested positive for THC.

Tyler Huffhines allegedly lived with his mother and brother in the village of Salem Lakes, the informant said in the criminal complaint.

Tyler also reportedly kept a Mossberg firearm at the Salem Lakes residence and carries a Springfield XD semi-automatic pistol with him at all times, the informant reportedly told police in the criminal complaint.

The informant reportedly provided a detective with Tyler’s Snapchat handle, and the detective said Tyler posted numerous photographs and videos showing large boxes containing THC cartridges in a garage.

On Aug. 20, the detective matched interior photos of the property from Zillow.com and determined white baseboards and light-colored carpeting matched the residence that was pictured in the videos, according to the criminal complaint.

On Aug. 26, the detective was in contact with another detective from the Kenosha Drug Operations Group. The detectives observed a white BMW that Tyler reportedly drove on Aug. 15. A Red Lexus also was observed driving to the Salem Lakes property. The Lexus reportedly pulled into a garage, and the garage door closed, according to the complaint. Shortly thereafter, Tyler Huffhines reportedly opened the garage door and backed out. Tyler reportedly drove the Lexus to a parking lot, where he met a male who got into the passenger’s seat of Tyler’s vehicle, according to the complaint.

A short time later, Tyler exited the vehicle carrying a shopping bag that he did not have before entering the Lexus. The detective said the short-term contact was consistent with a drug deal, according to the complaint.

On Aug. 28, an informant indicated Tyler was planning to fly to California to buy 40 to 50 jars of THC distillate in order to manufacture additional THC cartridges and he was going to have them sent to Wisconsin.

The detective observed Tyler’s Snapchat and saw that he posted videos of himself sitting in first class in an airplane.

The informant provided information that reportedly confirmed the distillate had made its way back to Wisconsin and they were actively filling cartridges and manufacturing between 4,000 and 5,000 cartridges a day, according to the complaint.

Search warrants were executed Sept. 5, and officers located a loaded A15 rifle that reportedly belonged to Jacob Huffhines, according to the complaint. A clear plastic bag that contained a white, powdery substance also was found. It weighed 0.6 gram and tested positive for cocaine, according to police. Detectives also reportedly found 4.4 grams of a green, leafy substance, which tested positive for the presence of THC, according to the complaint.

Drug paraphernalia including a vape pen, vape cartridges, empty vacuum-sealed bags and a digital scale also were found, according to the complaint.

Officers also located a fully loaded Mossberg model 590 Shockwave, 12-gauge shotgun in a bedroom that belonged to Tyler, according to the complaint. Police also reportedly found 17.5 grams of a green, leafy substance that tested positive for THC, according to the complaint.

In the garage, police reportedly found a food-saver vacuum sealer system and other drug paraphernalia, according to the complaint. They also reportedly found a semi-automatic pistol in a car associated with Tyler. Other guns were found in a first-floor northeast bedroom, police said in the complaint.

Tyler reportedly told police he started the THC vape cartridge business on Jan. 28, 2018. He also told police he never smoked THC and got into the business solely to make money, according to the complaint.

Tyler said all the money he made from selling the vape cartridges was put back into the business, according to the complaint. “You invest more, you make more. No risk, no reward.”

Tyler told police his mother, Courtney Huffhines, manages the condo he was renting but does not own it. He told his mother he was renting the condo for a friend, according to the complaint.

The condo was rented in the name of Rafael Torres, who resided in Las Vegas. That same name was used as the renter for We Energies, according to the complaint. The detective contacted Torres, who confirmed he did not authorize anyone to use his Social Security number or name in order to rent the condo.

A search of the residence found more than $48,000 in cash in Tyler’s room and more than $11,000 in Jacob’s room on Sept. 5.