Man Charged With Dealing THC For Vaping Pens To Teens
WEST JORDAN, Utah – A six-month investigation has resulted in the arrest of a man suspected of dealing THC oil for vaping pens and targeting teen users.
“We don’t want this stuff in our communities. We don’t want it hitting our schools,” said Sgt. J.C. Holt with the West Jordan Police Department.
Officials said the arrest of 21-year old Juan Castruita was the result of an investigation that took them to other parts of Salt Lake and Utah counties.
Detectives said that Castruita operated a gang he called the “Polo Ghetto Boys.”
They said he posted videos on Snapchat, advertising the THC for vaping, and used the social media network to arrange deals.
Police said he was clearly very profitable.
Around $57,000 in cash was seized from his apartment in American Fork, along with $30,000 worth of THC oil, which in effect allows a user to vape marijuana.
“The fruity flavors that smell good in that vape, that have nicotine and other things that people have warned are not healthy, but there is a difference between that stuff and this stuff, this is THC oil, it can get you high, it essentially it is like smoking marijuana, it is vaping marijuana,” Holt said.
Police worried parents may not be aware that more and more kids are vaping the active ingredient in marijuana.
“I am not sure that folks out there know that there is THC oil in this that can be vaped in this format. Maybe this is new information to some of those, parents, so knowing it is out there and a risk to people, specifically to juveniles that are using it,” he said.
A recent study from the Centers for Disease Control estimated one out of every eleven middle and high school students in the U.S. have used a cannabis product in a vape pen.
Police said regardless of who Castruita was selling the THC to, it’s against the law.
“It is all illegal in Utah, it does not fall under the new law changes that we have seen, it does not fall under a legal medicinal use for that drug,” he added.
While West Jordan police kept the vaping oil off the streets, they feared other dealers were also out there, trying to sell to teens.
Castruita was being held without bail in the Utah County jail.
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