The JCSO Narcotics Task Force began investigating public complaints about Smokees Vape Shop on College Street in Beaumont after receiving reports that medicated CBD oil products were making people sick and causing extreme intoxication to the users. Most legitimate CBD oils can be sold legally and do not cause those types of effects.
The task force began an investigation on specific medicated CBD oils being sold and were sent to the crime lab for analysis, according to the sheriff's office. The Jefferson County crime lab prioritized the testing of samples and gave returns quickly to investigators. This was done in order to determine if the substances were illegal and posed a danger to customers. The crime lab determined the substances were synthetic cannabinoids, a felony substance.
Each bottle of medicated CBD oils being sold at Smokees Vape Shop when tested by the Crime Lab contained 13.83 grams of 5-Fluoro-CUMYL-PINACA which falls under the penalty group 1.
On Sept. 17 a search warrant was executed at Smokees Vape shop by the Jefferson County Narcotics Task Force. DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration), HIS (Homeland Security Investigations), BPD (Beaumont PD) and PNPD (Port Neches PD).
The combination of agencies are part of a new HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) Task Force initiative. The Jefferson County Task Force was accepted in November 2019 to be the hosting agency.
The search warrant resulted in seizing 157 Bottles of substances believed to contain the dangerous Synthetic Cannabinoids that were being sold. There were also 200 other products seized that are believed to be illegal and dangerous substances as well. Samples of the substances will be sent to the Jefferson County Crime lab for analysis. The street value is approximately $25,000 in products.
The Health and Safety Code Sec. 484.003 (a) states the County attorney may institute an action in district court to collect a civil penalty from a person who in the course of business produces, distributes, sells, or offers for sale a mislabeled abusable synthetic substance. (b) The civil penalty can be up to but may not exceed $25,000 a day for each offense.