February5 , 2023

Police Sting Vape Shops In New York State

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Local news indicates that state police bust vape shops for selling to minors.

CENTRAL SQUARE, NY — Local police forces in Central Square, New York, say that they have busted two vape retailers for selling products illegally to minors. WSYR-TV in Syracuse reports that the vape shops, Lake Smoke and Vape Shop and the E-Shop Vape Shop, were the targets of the immediate, multiagency investigation.

The investigation involved the Central Square Police Department, the New York State Police, and the US Drug Enforcement Administration of the US Department of Justice.

Reportedly, two arrests were made. These include one man, Galal Fawozi Abdo A. Murshed, aged 22, of Utica, NY, who was arrested for one count of unlawfully dealing with a child by distributing controlled products to a minor. The State Police officers on the site told the local news affiliate that the shops are accused of selling vapes to kids. To qualify this claim regarding the evidence, the news outlet said that a high school is located “less than a five-minute walk from the vape shops.”

As a result of the raids, shops shelves were picked clean by police. They say that well over 9,500 individual packages of flavored vaping products were seized and will be used against the defendants as a part of separate state and federal criminal cases.

A local school district official told WSYR-TV that the community is concerned regarding the raid and the presence of illegal operations at retail operations like Lake Smoke and E-Shop.

“I heard a 15-year-old was able to purchase something here, that’s crazy to think about,” said Mr. Tom Colabufo, the superintendent of the Central Square school district. “I have two young kids to think someone could get access that easy on something like that, that could hook them for a lifetime, with nicotine, alone, is very troubling.”

Find the report here.