TOLLAND, CT — State police out of the Troop C barracks in Connecticut have charged a Massachusetts man with several crimes related to the illegal distribution of vaping-related materials at least across the region, according to an arrest report.
Le Xiong, 39, of Quincy, MA, was arrested on New Year’s Eve on a warrant charging him with selling electronic nicotine systems with an expired registration, forgery of a stamp or label and forgery of symbols, according to a report.
Xiong was pulled over on the eastbound side of Interstate-84 in Tolland County in a Nissan Rogue registered to a rental company at 2:20 p.m. after a trooper observed him making several abrupt lane changes, records show.
A trooper located a large sum of money both in loose large bills and organized in bank envelopes that appeared to have been used before, according to a warrant.
A trooper also located in the vehicle boxes with altered labels containing hundreds of “Puff Bar” e-cigarettes, a ledger denoting several “wholesalers” in New England and nationwide and “population density” maps.
Xiong claimed he was importing the goods from China, according to a warrant. He claimed he had just sold some of the inventory in Hartford that was stored in Newington and was headed back to Massachusetts, a warrant indicates. He claimed he sells 10-packs to “smoke shops,” vape stores and convenience stores in the region for $2 and they sell for $3, according to a warrant.
Both state police and Department of Homeland Security officials said in a warrant the prices are well below the standard rates. Police in a warrant said “Puff Bars” are not mailed directly from China, but through a Los Angeles distribution company.
Xiong posted a 25,000 bond and is due on court on March 23.