Man Arrested In California After Home Cannabis Oil Lab Explodes

Authorities in central California arrested a man this past weekend after his home butane hash oil extraction lab exploded.

On Saturday, February 15, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call about an explosion and smoke coming from an apartment in the 3300 block of Orcutt Road in Santa Maria, California.

Sheriff’s deputies, County fire personnel, and American Medical Response emergency workers responded to the residence.

When deputies arrived at the residence, they learned that American Medical Response had already transported one of the residents with serious injuries away from the scene.

After deputies discovered items associated with butane hash oil extraction in the apartment, detectives from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department’s Cannabis Compliance Team were called to the residence to further investigate.

“The Sheriff’s Office would like to take this opportunity to remind community members that the process of extracting oils is not only illegal, but it is extremely dangerous,” stated the Sheriff’s Office in a press release. “The violent explosion from this lab caused significant damage to the apartment including blasting a sliding door off the rails, and put the occupants and neighbors at serious risk.”

Following an initial investigation, deputies arrested 37-year-old Albert Alvarado of Santa Maria on a felony charge of manufacturing a controlled substance, a felony charge of arson causing great bodily injury, a felony charge of manufacturing a controlled substance in the presence of a child under the age of 16, a felony charge of child endangerment, and a misdemeanor charge of possessing cannabis for sale.

Alvarado was booked into the Santa Barbara County jail and held on $500,000 bail.

An investigation of the incident is ongoing.