Bodycam vids show the moment when Portage County Sheriff’s deputies bust vape shop

Published: Aug. 18, 2023 at 10:27 PM EDT
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PORTAGE COUNTY, Ohio (WOIO) - A Portage County vape shop was busted by sheriff’s deputies Monday. The owner is accused of not only just selling drugs but selling drugs to kids.

There is a sign on the front door of Puff City vape shop that says they support the Portage County Sheriff’s Office but that didn’t stop deputies from serving a search warrant on the business one month after it opened.

19 News obtained body camera video that shows the moments deputies raided the shop in downtown Ravenna.

It may have looked just like candy but what authorities said they found inside the vape shop was THC and psychedelic mushroom-infused drugs.

“I think that’s despicable,” said Portage County resident Angela Farcus. “I mean selling to kids is just horrible. It’s almost like when you have a van say here kids here’s some candy kind of thing.”

Morgan Taylor is a hair stylist at Joseph Daniel’s Salon across the street. She said she’s been noticing suspicious activity at the vape shop ever since it opened a month ago.

“People were like trying to get in it was like obvious that something more was kind of going on,” said Taylor. “Peeking through the window like opening the mailbox, banging on the door, walking back and forth like just go uptown. There’s other vape shops, but they were like pretty persistent.”

The sheriff’s office says the store was open for two weeks before they received a complaint of illegal drugs and sales to minors. After a two-week investigation. Deputies raided the shop on Monday. When they got there, there were customers inside the business, including some children.

Deputies said they found illegal narcotics hidden behind the counter and in a backroom.

“I do think that that’s awful and it definitely makes me nervous,” said Taylor. “I’m a mom, I have two small kids and I would lose my mind if I found out a business was actually selling stuff to my children. We just want businesses to survive and like we love our salon and like we don’t want it to be around that kind of riff-raff stuff, so we just want businesses here that are doing good.”

19 News learned the owner recently moved here from the New York area and is now in the Portage County jail. He is facing aggravated drug trafficking charges.