Detroit Vape Shop Owner Nabbed at JFK Before Fleeing Country Following Fatal Explosion

April 26th, 2024 Legal & Crime
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Note to our readers: While this incident is not directly related to cannabis, it tangentially connects to the broader cannabis industry due to the involvement of Delta-8 THC products. The explosion in Clinton Township involved a facility that distributed vape pens, many of which were intended for use with Delta-8 THC, highlighting the sometimes blurred lines within the regulatory landscape of cannabinoid products.

Noor Noel Kestou, the owner of a suburban Detroit business where a fire and explosion resulted in the death of a young man, was arrested while attempting to leave the U.S. for Hong Kong. The incident, which occurred in Clinton Township, has led to serious criminal charges against Kestou.

On March 4th, a violent explosion at a building owned by Kestou's company, Goo, a distributor for the vaping industry, tragically ended the life of 19-year-old Turner Lee Salter. The explosion propelled a nitrous oxide canister a quarter of a mile through the air, striking Salter. At the time of the explosion, the building reportedly contained over 100,000 vape pens and had recently received a large shipment of butane canisters.

Authorities apprehended Kestou, 31, of Commerce Township, at John F. Kennedy International Airport on April 22nd as he was about to board a flight to Hong Kong on a one-way ticket. He was subsequently extradited to Michigan and arraigned on charges of involuntary manslaughter.

During a press briefing, Macomb County Prosecutor Peter Lucido explained that Kestou had been a suspect from the onset of the investigation due to his ownership of the premises involved in the incident. Lucido stated, "Anyone that owns a business and something like this happens has to be considered a suspect." The prosecutor also noted that involuntary manslaughter was the most severe charge that could be currently justified by the evidence.

The building, located in a 26,700-square-foot space, had been permitted as a retail location for a "smoke shop/vape store," according to records from the Clinton Township Building Department. Fire Chief Tim Duncan noted that while the exact cause of the fire remains undetermined, it is believed to have started in the building's southwest corner.

Following his arraignment, Kestou was released on a $500,000 bond. As part of his release conditions, he is required to wear a GPS monitoring device, and he has surrendered his passport. A probable cause hearing is scheduled for May 7th at the Clinton Township District Court.

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