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Arrests after THC found in TC vape store products

An ALE agent at Tobacco and Vape Outlet at Tabor Crossing Wednesday morning. (Deuce Niven, TLT)

By DEUCE NIVEN

tribdeuce@tabor-loris.com

     Three men have been arrested, with additional charges expected after state Alcohol Law Enforcement (ALE) agents conducted “an illegal THC product investigation” at two Tabor City vape stores.

     Agents conducted simultaneous raids Wednesday at Tobacco and Vape Outlet at Tabor Crossing shopping center and at EZ Tobacco and Vape Outlet located nearby across US 701 Bypass.

     Agents with the NC Department of Revenue and state Secretary of State’s Office were also involved in the search warrant service, where “special agents seized a large amount of illegal THC products and cash,” an ALE news release on Friday said.

Arrests

     Charged so far are:

  • Ryan Paul Taylor, 27, of Tabor City, a Tobacco and Vape Outlet-employee, charged with possession with intent to sell or deliver marijuana and sale and deliver of a Schedule 6 controlled substance.
  • Dennis Leroy Pogue, 61, of Tabor City, an EZ Tobacco and Vape-employee, his charges identical to those against Taylor.
  • Abdulfatah Moha Mozib, 25, of Whiteville, the Tobacco and Vape Outlet-manager, charged with possession with intent to sell or deliver marijuana.

Sickened children

     Agents at the stores, and through the news release, said their investigation was a result of complaints “that teens purchased vape products from two tobacco stores in Tabor City and subsequently became ill after ingesting the products.”

     “ALE received complaints of young people consuming products purchased from North Carolina tobacco shops and becoming sick to the point of requiring medical attention,” said Bryan House, Director of North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement. “Many of these products seem to be marketed towards kids and often mimic legitimate candy products.”

     House said parents need to be vigilant.

     “While criminal enforcement is, and will continue to be, part of an overall strategy to keep our children safe, parents should be aware of these products and the potential for harm,” House said.

     Look for more on this story in the next Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online.