BOWIE (KFDX/KJTL) — After receiving reports that counterfeit Juul products we’re in Bowie, two undercover buys were done at the Bowie Tobacco Mart. One with a private investigators and another in coordination with the investigator and Bowie Police Department.
After the buys, Bowie police executed a search warrant and seized 128 counterfeit Juul pods, one starter kit and device, and 11 chargers from China.
“The issue with these, you can tell by looking at the packaging,” Bowie Police Department Lieutenant Randy Hanson said. “At first glance, it looks genuine. There’s no regulation whatsoever as to what’s in those pods, none. You know, these came from China, so they could be anything that they decide to put in the pods and sale.”
And those products could’ve been purchased and given to students.
“I’ve spoken with students and I’ve got numbers suggesting 80% of students in the district, or at least in the high school, using vaping device,” Bowie Police Department Corporal & Lead SRO For BISD Andrew Poole said.
Because spotting the difference between real and counterfeit e-cig products can be a challenge, police say it’s best to buy from the source.
“The investigator that I spoke with that’s working for them currently advised that really the best way to be sure if you’re not trained in spotting what’s counterfeit VS. what’s not is to buy directly from the company, directly from Juul,” Hanson said.
And authorities in Bowie hope after this seizure, local retailers will be more cautious when buying tobacco products.