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Illegal THC vaping cartridges seized in north Phoenix drug bust

(Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)

PHOENIX – More than $380,000 worth of illegal drugs and paraphernalia – including THC vaping cartridges — were seized during a bust last week in north Phoenix, authorities said Wednesday.

Two 23-year-old men — Tucker Reece and Kolby Stevens — were arrested Sept. 12 after detectives found the drugs, guns and cash while serving a warrant at a 4,000-square-foot house in the Tramonto residential community north of Carefree Highway and east of Interstate 17.

“They’re going to face a multitude of charges, not only the possession, but the conspiracy to distribute,” Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Wednesday.

Each suspect was booked for sale of narcotic drugs, possession of narcotic drugs, possession of manufacturing equipment for narcotic drugs, possession of marijuana for sale and possession of a weapon in a drug offense, according to a Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office press release.

Maricopa County Drug Suppression Task Force detectives and Phoenix police officers who served the warrant found vaping cartridges of the type associated with multiple recent deaths across the country, the release said.

“We’re not just talking about vape cartridges, which in of themselves are very dangerous; they had several different types of chemicals and illicit drugs, all of which were possessed so that they could sell them on the streets and make money,” Penzone said.

“These drugs are absolutely a hazard to health for, primarily, the young adults in our community.”

The following items were seized, according to the press release:

  • Approximately 1,100 1-gram THC vape cartridges (approximate value of $55,000).
  • Eight jars of narcotic distillate ($300,000).
  • About 300 pounds of the kind of marijuana used to manufacture butane hash oil, a potent cannabis concentrate ($30,000).
  • Two ounces of shatter, a form of cannabis extract ($1,000).
  • Butane hash oil extracting equipment.
  • Approximately $3,000 in cash.
  • A rifle, a shotgun, four handguns, two vehicles, a boat and a Can-Am all-terrain vehicle.

Penzone said he was pleased with the investigative work done in partnership with other agencies to take drugs off the street.

“They’ve had just some exceptional cases, and it’s taking creative, hard work and discipline for them to bring these to fruition,” he said.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Ashley Flood contributed to this report.

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