Ohio company indicted for intentionally shipping butane without hazmat labels

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | Wednesday, July 26, 2017

An Ohio manufacturer and distributor of smoking accessories and alternative lifestyle products has been indicted on charges of illegally transporting hazardous material, according to federal court documents. A manager for the company’s California facility was also indicted.

From an unknown date to August 2012, Glow and one of its California managers, Charles Kaye, knowingly transported butane without the labeling required by federal law.

Glow would receive butane cartridges from suppliers and then sell those cartridges to various businesses within the United States. The boxes received from suppliers were marked in compliance with hazardous material laws.

Under the direction of Kaye, Glow employees would remove the cartridges from the original box with hazmat markings and place them in a different box with no markings. By doing so, Glow avoided paying for permits and additional costs associated with hazmat transportation.

The federal indictment lists 15 different occasions when Glow shipped unmarked boxes to customers. In August 2012, Kaye sent a letter to a special agent of the Federal Aviation Administration stating that a Glow employee had “inadvertently” shipped cases of butane without declaring it as hazardous material, court documents reveal.

In addition to counts related to the unlabeled shipments, Glow is being charged with one count of failing to provide the required training regarding hazardous materials to its hazmat employees.

According to a U.S. Department of Transportation press release, Glow’s illegal operations were exposed after United Parcel Services examined a shipment at an Anchorage, Alaska, airport. A box had been damaged, which prompted it to be inspected. UPS employees discovered that the inside of the box had the appropriate markings whereas the exterior of the box did not. Glow employees had disassembled boxes from original shipments to its facility and essentially turned them inside out for delivery to customers without the labels.

According to its website, Glow Industries was established in 1978 as a chain of retail stores in Toledo, Ohio. Distribution of products began in 1991, which includes an inventory of more than 5,000 products such as vaporizers, “detox” beverages, incense, hookahs and adult toys.

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