Excise Police seize counterfeit Juul pods at South Bend store
Indiana Excise Police served a search warrant at the Country Cupboard Thursday evening and confiscated five boxes of counterfeit Juul pods, according to a release from the agency.
Officers executed the search warrant at the business in the 26000 block of SR2.
Police said the store was selling multiple flavors of the Juul pods. Juul confirmed the mango and cucumber flavors were counterfeit, police said.
Police began an investigation after a citizen complained the packaging for the Juul pods looked genuine but the contents were not.
The complainant told police they “had been purchasing Juul Pods for approximately one and a half years and can recognize the difference, that the business accepted the return of the pods, stating they were unaware the pods were fake.”
"We are seeing an alarming increase in vaping-related illnesses and deaths across the country. It is clear the hazards associated with counterfeit vaping products are a serious public health and safety matter,” 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, and I commend our officers for their diligent work in getting these counterfeit products off the shelves.”
The business was cited administratively for a public nuisance charge, failure to maintain e-liquid invoices and obtaining e-liquids from an unauthorized source.
The results of the investigation will be turned over the St. Joseph County Prosecutor's office for review.
To report potential counterfeit e-liquid products, please contact the Alcohol and Tobacco Commission at 317-232-2452 or by filing a complaint at https://www.in.gov/atc/2411.htm.