Explosion from illegal butane extraction lab

For Immediate Release

Sergeant Anthony Prencipe

On January 1st, 2018 at about 1525 hours, El Dorado County Fire responded to an explosion heard at a residence in the 5100 block of Pony Express Trail in Camino.  A short time later, fire personnel requested El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office to respond to the scene for a possible butane extraction lab explosion. As Sheriff’s deputies and detectives responded to the scene, medical personnel treated Joshua Jamison (39) from Camino for burns to his face.  Jamison was transported to a local hospital for his injuries; he has since been treated and released.  A juvenile was also transported to the hospital for possible smoke inhalation and was later released.  Two other juveniles were found to be inside the home when the explosion occurred and they were uninjured.

El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office detectives and an El Dorado County arson investigator began looking into the nature of the explosion and were quickly able to determine that it was the result of an illegal butane extraction lab that was being done in the bathroom of the home.  The illegal lab was being used to produce concentrated cannabis. There was extensive structural damage to the home as a result of the blast.  Many interior walls were cracked or moved and multiple exterior walls were pushed off of the foundation.  El Dorado County Code Enforcement was called and has deemed the home unsafe to occupy.

El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office detectives conducted interviews of the residents of the home and a search warrant was served at the location.  Numerous items of evidence in support of a butane extraction lab were collected per the search warrant.   This is an ongoing investigation with the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office, El Dorado County Fire, CPS and Code Enforcement. The case is to be forwarded to the El Dorado County District Attorney for review and no arrests have been made at this point.

Skier death in South Lake Tahoe

For Immediate Release

Sergeant Anthony Prencipe

On December 27, Lewis Carillo III, a 49 year old from Santa Rosa, was pronounced dead after a solo skiing accident at Heavenly Ski Resort in South Lake Tahoe. First aid was provided on scene but they were unable to revive Lewis and he was pronounced dead. The cause of death is pending and next of kin has been notified.

Response to Sheriff D’Agostini’s Letter to Attorney General Bacerra

For Immediate Release

Sergeant Anthony Prencipe

On December 27th I sent a letter to California Attorney General, Xavier Becerra requesting he stay the requirement for ammunition vendors to obtain an ammunition vendor license pursuant to Proposition 63 passed by the voters in November of 2016 due to the fact his own office had not completed the regulatory process nor issued any of the required ammunition vendor licenses so these businesses could lawfully operate until such licenses were issued.

The letter was also posted as a press release which was picked up by some local media outlets that investigated and reported the facts.  When they contacted the Department of Justice, as reported, they were informed that approximately 225 ammunition vendor license applications had been received and 219 had been processed with only six more to process and that the businesses would receive their licenses prior to the end of the year.

On December 28 I received an email with an attached letter, both from Robert D. Wilson, Deputy Attorney General for the California Department of Justice.  The letter stated the following:

Your letter to Attorney General Becerra regarding ammunition vendor licenses has been directed to the Bureau of Firearms (Bureau) for response.  To summarize, you voiced concerns about the timely issuance of ammunition vendor licenses.  The Bureau has been working with non-FFL ammunition vendors since early 2017 and that work has paid off.  Initial estimates indicated that there were approximately 225 non-FFL ammunition vendors in California.  As of today, the Bureau processed 227 applications for ammunition vendor licenses; five additional applications are now in the final stage of completion.  All backgrounds and Certificates of Eligibility have been completed or are nearing completion.  The Bureau expects to issue these licenses electronically on December 29, 2017.


Robert D. Wilson

Deputy Attorney General

For Xavier Becerra

Attorney General


On December 29, at approximately 4:35 pm I received an email from Chris Puehse, owner of Foothill Ammunition, an ammunition vendor in El Dorado County.  The email was a forward from the California Department of Justice stating the following:

Ammunition regulations from the California Department of Justice are in the final stage of approval, which is expected in early January.  The Department has processed applications from vendors and will issue licenses once the regulations are approved.

I immediately telephoned Deputy Attorney General, Robert Wilson to inquire about the discrepancy between what was told to the media, what was told to me and what is now being told to the ammunition vendors who are just trying to comply with the law.  I was advised by DAG Wilson that there was a misunderstanding and that the regulations had not been reviewed and approved by the Department’s “Office of Administrative Law” (OAL) and no licenses had been issued.  He advised he would be personally walking the regulations through with the OAL first thing Tuesday, January 2, 2018 hoping that the regulations would be approved and the licenses could be issued shortly after that.

When asked what businesses that sold ammunition were supposed to do until then, I was advised they would have to only “shut their doors” for a few days until the licenses were issued giving no definitive date DOJ is willing to be accountable to.  I advised him this was unacceptable and again requested Attorney General Becerra issue a stay until such regulations were completed and licenses issued.

I am releasing this information via press release because it needs to be documented that the California Department of Justice had been less than honest with the people of California regarding this issue, has had since November of 2016 to draft and finalize the regulations for this law and have failed to do so in a timely manner and even though a remedy exists, will again fail the people of California and force law abiding citizens to choose between being criminals or not providing for their families.  Affecting livelihoods with a flippant “trust us” attitude is unacceptable from public servants.

John D’Agostini

El Dorado County

Sheriff~ Coroner~ Public Administer”