Cleveland, Ohio – Acting U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Brennan announced today that a federal indictment charging Adrian Joseph-Todd, age 25, of Okemos, Michigan, with one count of possession with intent to distribute tetrahydrocannabinols was unsealed this week following the arrest of the defendant.
“There is a well-known and documented connection between the consumption of THC vape cartridges and significant respiratory health issues that could cause lasting harm or even death,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Brennan. “These products must be taken seriously, and dealers of these illegal cartridges must be held accountable due to the potentially life-threatening health conditions they may cause.”
On September 20, 2019, it is alleged that the defendant drove from Michigan to Cleveland, Ohio, with over 1,000 THC vape cartridges in his vehicle. The defendant allegedly intended to sell the vape cartridges in the Northern District of Ohio. In October of 2019, the Food and Drug Administration warned the public to stop using vaping products containing THC amid more than 1,000 reports of lung injuries—including some resulting in deaths—following the use of vaping products.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense, and the characteristics of the violation.
In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum, and in most cases, it will be less than the maximum.
The matter was investigated by the FDA Office of Criminal Investigations in conjunction with the Ohio Attorney General’s Organized Crime Commission Major Crimes Task Force which consists of the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, FDA OCI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and Homeland Security Investigations. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Aaron P. Howell.