The La Vernia Police Department has been working overtime to keep illegal vape products from the streets. The department thus has been investigating the movement of products that contain unlawful THC amounts in the county. This is aimed at protecting the youth from the health risks associated with unhealthy vaping products.
According to Donald Keil, the La Vernia Police chief, his department has been focused on protecting La Vernia youth from the harmful impacts caused by illegal vaping. The department has been following several leads to remove illegal products from the market. As a result of one of these investigations, the department on 28th December 2022 conducted a warrant search on a vape shop located on U.S. 87. This search led to the closure of Planet 4/20 Vape Shop.
The investigations were led by detective Travis Beck. Beck was following up on the increasing cases of learners in the La Vernia Independent School District using vaping products on school campuses when he learned of a shop selling vaping products with higher than allowed levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The detective then began an investigation into the shop and all the illegal products it sold. The investigation concluded that indeed the illegal vaping products the students in the school district used originated from the Planet4/20 Vape shop.
According to Keil, during the investigation, his detectives were able to witness individuals under 21 years of age easily purchase vaping products from the shop. In addition, all the products purchased from the shop contained higher levels of THC than allowed by the law. This is what informed the department to seek a search warrant that led to the recovery of a trove of illegal products.
He noted that in Texas the law is clear that individuals below 21 years old are not allowed to buy or use any tobacco products. This includes e-cigarettes and an assortment of vape products. It is also a crime according to Texas state laws for anyone to possess or distributed products containing above 0.3% THC. Possessing or selling such products is a felony.
During the warrant search the La Vernia Police Department recovered a huge amount of illegal vaping products from the shop. Keil says that his department will keep working hard to hold distributors of illegal vape products accountable.
The department will continue with its vape investigation into the future to make sure that teen vaping in its jurisdictions comes to an end. The department will work tirelessly to make sure that families and future generations are safe from all illegal products.
According to the Department of Health Services in the state of Texas, teen vaping peaked in 2018. As a result of the increased youth vaping in the state at the time and the proliferation of illegal substances, many youths suffered from lung injuries, burns and even seizures directly attributed to vaping. The La Vernia police department is working to put this to an end by eliminating youth access to vaping products in its jurisdiction.