Excise police: Indiana convenience store busted for selling fake Juul products

Indiana

A counterfeit Juul product allegedly sold at a Lake County convenience store is shown. (Indiana State Excise Police)

CEDAR LAKE, Ind. (WANE) — Indiana excise police confiscated a batch of fake Juul pods and starter kits from a northwestern Indiana convenience store.

Excise officers on Friday served a search warrant at a Zip Food Store in Cedar Lake. According to a news release, the store was selling Juul pod flavors, Juul pod devices and starter kits, including a Mango flavored product that Juul confirmed was counterfeit.

A sign inside the Zip Food Store in Cedar Lake, Indiana, indicates Juul products that were found to be counterfeit could not be returned or exchanged. (Indiana State Excise Police)

Excise police confiscated nine boxes of counterfeit Juul pods and Juul starter kits, the news release said, along with numerous invoices.

The search warrant was the result of a 2-month-long investigation launched out of a citizen complaint that said “the package, pods and liquid contained inside were all obviously different than the Juul Brand product,” according to the release.

The business was cited administratively against the tobacco sales certificate for public nuisance, failing to maintain invoices and for obtaining e-liquid from an unauthorized source. The investigation will be turned over to the Lake County Prosecutor’s Office for review.

“Recently, vaping-related illnesses are on the rise nationwide. The hazards associated with counterfeit vaping products are a serious public health and safety matter. The Indiana State Excise Police will work to help get these counterfeit products off of the streets,” said Indiana State Excise Police Superintendent Matt Strittmatter. “By law, the mission of the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission is to protect the health of Hoosiers by regulating alcohol and tobacco products, including those used for vaping.”

Cedar Lake is 18 miles south of Hammond.

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