Three additional people are being charged in the Huffhines THC vape manufacturing case.
Drug manufacturing charges were filed Wednesday afternoon against Daniel Graumenz, 19, of Salem Lakes, Wesley Webb, 20, of Racine, and Tarail King, 23, of Racine.
None of the three is in custody. Instead, the charges were filed with a summons requiring them to make initial appearances in court on Nov. 5.
Paid for transport
According to the criminal complaints, King and Webb are alleged to have been paid by Tyler Huffhines to transport THC wax to the Huffhineses.
The complaint states that King told investigators that Tyler paid for plane tickets to fly him to Colorado once and to Los Angeles twice.
Each time, Tyler Huffhines would rent a car and pay King to drive the rental car with THC wax back to Wisconsin, once dropping the drugs off at the Huffhines home in Paddock Lake, once at their rented condominium in Bristol.
When he drove back from Los Angeles, King said, Huffhines had a driver in a second car follow.
“King stated that Huffhines told him that the job of the follow car was to crash the car or somehow distract police if the lead car was getting stopped,” the complaint states.
The complaint states that Webb drove the follow car on at least one occasion.
King told investigators he also worked at Courtney Huffhines’ real estate office and at the Bristol condo.
According to the complaint, he told investigators he did not fill vape cartridges but was instead paid $20 an hour to clean the offices.
He told investigators he was aware of the drug business.
“He indicated at one point he had an argument with Tyler regarding the places being run like sweatshops,” the complaint states.
The complaint states that Graumenz told investigators he was involved in filling vape cartridges at the real estate office and at the Bristol condominium.
He told investigators he also allowed the Huffhineses to store filled THC cartridges and other items in a shed at his mother’s Salem Lakes home between the time they moved out of the real estate office and into the condominium.
Graumenz told investigators he worked for Huffhines for six to seven hours a day along with other workers.
“Graumenz approximated that they filled around 5,000 cartridges a day,” the complaint states.
Pleading not guilty
Meanwhile, members of the Huffhines family entered formal not-guilty pleas at arraignments on Wednesday.
Tyler Huffhines, 20, his 23-year-old brother Jacob Huffhines and their mother Courtney Huffhines, 43, all of Paddock Lake, are alleged to have been operating a large-scale THC vape manufacturing and distribution business from the rented Bristol condominium, Courtney Huffhines’ real estate office in Union Grove and the family’s Paddock Lake home.
The business is alleged to have used 10 workers to manufacture the vapes, using THC oil purchased in California.
The business was allegedly producing 4,000 to 5,000 THC vape cartridges a day that, according to court documents, the brothers were selling in Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota.
The brothers are being held in the Kenosha County Jail. Their mother is free on $100,000 bond.
Authorities have sent materials seized in the investigation to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for testing to see whether there is any connection between the vaping operation and an outbreak of vape-related lung illnesses and deaths.
Hannah Curty, 20, of Racine, and Jordan Lynam, 22, of Racine, who both allegedly worked filling vapes, have each been charged with one count of manufacture or delivery of THC over 10,000 grams, a felony.
Curty also pleaded not guilty Wednesday. Lynam had his initial court appearance Thursday. He is free on $1,000 bond.
Graumenz and Webb are facing similar charges to the other workers, both charged with manufacture and delivery of THC over 10,000 grams. Graumenz is also charged with maintaining a drug-trafficking place.
King is facing seven felony charges — one more than Tyler Huffhines, alleged to be the mastermind of the operation.
King is charged with three counts of manufacture or delivery of THC over 10,000 grams, and four counts of maintaining a drug-trafficking place.
King and Tyler Huffhines were both members of the Carthage College football team last year. King is listed as a May 2019 graduate of the college.
According to the complaint, King told investigators he knew both Huffhines brothers from school but got to know Tyler at Carthage. Graumenz told investigators he met Tyler at school.
According to the complaint, King told investigators that he had seen Tyler with a gun and that there were guns displayed both at the family’s Paddock Lake home and the condo.
“When King was asked why they would have guns around, King stated, ‘The drugs, man. ... What if someone tried to rob them?’”