On 08-07-14, at approximately 0700 hours, SLEDNET agents served a search warrant at 3121 Fresno Avenue in South Lake Tahoe. The search yielded approximately 296 pounds of marijuana trimmings in large trash bags. The marijuana trimmings were being used to create concentrated cannabis oils via several methods including butane fuel extraction. Agents discovered 118 expended and 65 partially used butane fuel canisters all 300 ml in size. Agents seized 9 extraction tubes made of both glass and steel, which were used to process marijuana/hash oil. Agents also seized approximately 10 ounces of concentrated cannabis in various forms within the home during the search.
The primary resident of the home, Mr. Dwayne Crenshaw, age 37, was arrested and booked into El Dorado County Jail for possession of marijuana for sale and manufacturing of a controlled substance.
The extraction of THC from marijuana plant material utilizing a chemical catalyst such as butane fuel is a felony crime per California Health and Safety Code Section 11379.6. Butane hash or honey oil production, also known as BHO, is not protected under California’s compassionate use act (Prop 215). In addition to being illegal, BHO extraction is a highly volatile process. Butane fuel is colorless and odorless. Butane in a gaseous state is heavier than oxygen and collects close to the floor, especially in enclosed areas. When an ignition source such as a cigarette or pilot light comes into contact with the butane, an explosion will occur. The size and damage of the explosion are dependent upon the amount of gas present, but can cause serious injuries and death. Numerous BHO related explosions have occurred throughout California in recent years including one in South Lake Tahoe in 2013.