Westfield store closed after allegedly selling illegal vape products
WESTFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - A Westfield smoke shop is closed until further notice after a recent raid. Police said the store was selling illegal flavored nicotine products and were selling to minors.
The Westfield Board of Health issued a cease-and-desist order on Whip City Smokes and closed down the business. They said the owner is facing criminal charges and board of healtlh violations.
“We have had issues with this place in the past, so they’ve been under the radar a little bit,” said Westfield Public Health Inspector Tom Hibert.
On Tuesday, Westfield Police and the city’s board of health raided the smoke shop after they did compliance checks and sent in teens to purchase vape products.
“There were two compliance checks that the police department conducted that they failed…selling vape devices to people that are under 21 and I think one of them might have even been 16, so that’s quite a bit under the limit,” Hibert added.
Police told Western Mass News they found THC vape cartridges along with flavored nicotine sticks/vapes and menthol cigarettes in the shop, which are illegal to sell in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
“They had illegal products hidden underneath legal products, so it was obvious they were intentionally selling products that aren’t allowed in the state,” Hibert explained.
Shaffie Mohamed was arrested after the search warrant was executed. Hibert told us he was the owner, but sold the business a couple of weeks ago. Since the sale, there was no renewed business license with the Westfield Board of Health, which ultimately resulted in the cease-and-desist and the closing of the shop’s doors.
“They were operating without a license, as well, on top of all the illegal products and underage sales,” Hibert noted.
The store will be closed until further notice. Both the police and the board of health told us this was not the first time the store violated policy or the law.
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