REDMOND, Ore. - A 47-year-old Redmond man, seriously burned along with his adult daughter in a drug-related explosion at his home last December, was arraigned Tuesday in Eugene on federal charges of manufacturing hash oil and endangering human life, police said Wednesday.
Last Dec. 12, Redmond police and fire crews rushed to a reported explosion at a home in the 2100 block of Southwest 24th Street, said police Lt. Curtis Chambers.
An initial investigation revealed the existence of a butane hash oil (BHO) lab in the garage where the explosion originated, Chambers said. The first responders found two people suffering from serious burns to their body. They also turned up 14 guns, 11 pipe bombs, an illegal marijuana grow and $26,000 in cash on the property, police said.
William Wild and his daughter were taken by ambulance to St. Charles Redmond and eventually flown to a Portland hospital for further treatment, Chambers said.
Since the initial incident, the investigation continued by Redmond police detectives and members of the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement (CODE) Team. The results of that investigation was presented to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Eugene for review of possible criminal charges.
Wild appeared in a Eugene federal courtroom Tuesday afternoon for arraignment on a grand jury indictment on the charges of endangering human life and manufacturing hash oil.
The charge involving endangering the life of his daughter carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, while the hash oil manufacturing charge carries a maximum five-year sentence, Chambers said.
“Hash oil,” also known as “honey oil,” is derived from marijuana and has many streets names, but is commonly referred to as “dab,” “shatter,” and “butter,” Chambers said.
The names may be different, but the end product is essentially the same. It is super-concentrated Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.
“Hash oil” is made by utilizing highly flammable materials, such as Butane, to refine and concentrate the THC, making a product which can range upwards to 90% THC content. Today’s marijuana sold in recreational and medical dispensaries typically have THC content ranging from 15% to 20%, and some as high as 30%.
"There has been a dramatic increase in the number of marijuana BHO lab explosions in Oregon in recent years," Chambers said in a news release, "coinciding with the legalization of recreational marijuana."
As a result, the Oregon State Police has formed several Clandestine Lab Response Teams. The last time these teams were being utilized was during the home methamphetamine manufacturing boom of the late 1990s and early 2000s.
"Unregulated BHO labs, operated by those willing to manufacture in a reckless manner puts neighborhoods at risk," Chambers wrote. "These neighborhoods are where our child live and play. Regardless of one’s opinion of marijuana and its related products, the manufacture of BHO and similar marijuana products are strictly regulated by Oregon law, and the manufacture of marijuana is still a federal crime and charged accordingly."
"The Redmond Police Department and the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement team are dedicated to making Redmond the safest community in Oregon and to do our part in eliminating drugs and drug dealers from our region," the lieutenant said. "We are appreciative of the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon for reviewing this incident and charging the case as they best saw fit.
"We take the safety of our community very seriously; any person utilizing a marijuana BHO lab within our community will be dealt with to the fullest extent granted by law. If you have knowledge of a marijuana BHO lab in your community, please contact your local law enforcement agency. All Deschutes County police agencies can be reached by calling 541-693-6911.