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Alleged worker in Huffhines vaping business charged
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Alleged worker in Huffhines vaping business charged

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A woman who was reportedly paid to fill THC vape cartridges for the Huffhines family was charged with a felony Thursday after she declined to cooperate with the investigation into the black-market drug manufacturing business.

Hannah Curty, a 19-year-old University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee student from Racine, was charged Thursday with one count of manufacture or delivery of THC over 10,000 grams.

At Curty’s initial appearance Thursday, prosecutor Lesli Boese said the state has information that Curty was involved in the manufacture of THC vape cartridges both at Courtney Huffhines’ Union Grove real estate office and at a Bristol condominium that had been rented under a false name.

Curty is the first person criminally charged of the people who reportedly worked with the vape manufacturing and sales business allegedly operated by 20-year-old Tyler Huffhines, his 23-year-old brother Jacob Huffhines and their mother Courtney, 43.

Authorities have said at least 10 people worked filling cartridges for the business.

Boese said Curty’s work with the business was documented on timecards kept by Tyler, with timecards found showing Curty “worked at least 11 days in August.”

“We have reason to believe that she probably filled several thousand cartridges on her own,” Boese said.

At least two of the people who worked with the business appear to have cooperated with the investigation, listed as confidential informants in charging documents.

Meeting canceled

Boese said in court Thursday that investigators attempted to talk to Curty, and that she had hired an attorney and scheduled a meeting to speak to detectives.

“Then she canceled that meeting,” Boese said.

At about the same time the meeting was canceled, Boese said, Curty was seen driving Tyler Huffhines’ “fully paid for” 2014 BMW and still had the car in her possession at the time she was arrested.

Defense attorney Patrick Cafferty said Curty has no criminal record, is a full-time student and lives with her parents.

“In essence she is alleged to have been an hourly worker, working for these people at the top of the food chain,” he said, asking that she be released from custody on a signature bond.

The court commissioner set bond at $10,000 cash.

Large-scale operation

The Huffhineses’ black market vape manufacturing business is alleged to have been producing 4,000 to 5,000 THC vape cartridges a day that, according to court documents, were being sold by the brothers in Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota.

Samples of the vapes and THC oil seized at the Bristol condominium have been sent to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for testing to see whether the vapes the Huffhineses were producing are tied to a spate of vaping-related illnesses and deaths.

The FDA and Centers for Disease Control are trying to determine the cause of vaping-related lung illnesses. While a cause has not yet been isolated, the majority of those who have become ill around the country were using black market THC vapes.

Tyler Huffhines is being held on $500,000 bond. Jacob Huffhines is being held on $50,000 bond, but also is on a probation hold because he was on probation for a previous felony drug-dealing conviction at the time of his arrest.

Courtney Huffhines, charged Tuesday, was released from Kenosha County Jail after posting $100,000 bond.

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