Man charged in investigation of heroin-laced vape sicknesses

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — Police in West Virginia say they have identified another source of suspected heroin-laced vaping solutions that sickened two high school students.

Morgantown Police Chief Ed Preston said Thursday that an ongoing investigation of the overdoses has led to charges against 23-year-old Tristan Clay Anderson.

Authorities say officers pulled Anderson over Wednesday night and found more than 2 pounds (0.9 kilograms) of marijuana in his car. Officers then served a search warrant at his home and found 25 more pounds (11 kilograms) of marijuana, over 70 bottles of concentrated THC oils and more than 300 vaping cartridges.

Anderson, of Bolivar, Ohio, has been charged with possession with the intent to sell. A court clerk says he has not yet hired a lawyer.

Police last week said they also identified an underage high school student as a suspect after finding vaping solutions and packaging materials during the execution of a search warrant. One of the vape pens was confirmed to be contaminated with heroin and other dangerous chemicals, Preston said.

State Sen. Bob Beach, a Democrat who represents Morgantown, has asked Gov. Jim Justice to issue an executive order declaring vaping a public health emergency. A spokesman for the Republican governor didn’t return a voicemail seeking comment.