Homemade vape pen bust leads to arrest of Sandy man

Posted at 11:05 AM, Jun 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-01 15:00:38-04

SANDY, Utah — A Sandy man is facing felony charges for allegedly manufacturing and selling homemade THC vape pens; but his reported clandestine lab was down in central Utah.

Narcotics detectives said Gale Androes, 26, chose Nephi as his base of illegal operations, possibly counting on it being a sparsely populated area with a smaller police presence than Salt Lake County.

Agents from the West Central Strike Force raided Androes' Nephi home on May 10 after investigating reports of homemade vape pens being sold in the area.

According to charging documents, agents found more than 2 pounds of marijuana, along with equipment to extract THC and fill cartridges which go into vape pens.

“He had a makeshift kind of laboratory set up and that’s exactly what he was doing. He was extracting THC and selling the vape pens themselves,” explained Det. Mike Nielson.

“If you’re getting any marijuana from southern Nevada to include Las Vegas area, and it’s not from a dispensary, does not have the dispensary packing, it will almost 100% be laced with fentanyl,” added Comd. Clete Carter.

Detectives said fentanyl is a real concern right now because it is being mixed with practically every form of street drug, including marijuana.

Strike force agents said they have their hands full patrolling huge, rural areas, roughly 10,000 square miles between Juab and Millard county.

Androes was arrested and now faces felony charges of manufacturing and distributing a controlled substance. Because his girlfriend and a 9-year-old child were also living in the home, Androes is also facing child endangerment charges.