Redmond 'hash oil' blast: Pipe bombs, guns, illegal pot grow found

Man, woman flown to Portland with serious burns

REDMOND, Ore. - A search of a southwest Redmond home and garage where a “hash oil” explosion seriously burned a man and woman Monday afternoon turned up 11 pipe bombs, 14 guns and an illegal marijuana grow, as well as $26,000 in cash, police said Tuesday.

Here’s the full news release issued by Lt. Curtis Chambers:

Yesterday at about 2:00 pm, Deschutes County 911 Dispatch received a call about an explosion at 2154 SW 24th Street, Redmond. Initial reports were two people were suffering burn-related injuries.  Redmond Police and Redmond Fire & Rescue responded.

Police and fire personnel found two people, one male, and one female, suffering from serious burns to their body, including their faces.  Both were transported by ambulance to St. Charles Redmond and both were eventually flown to Legacy Oregon Burn Center at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland.  Their current condition is unknown. The man lived at the location and the woman elsewhere in Redmond.

Law enforcement discovered evidence of a marijuana butane hash oil (BHO) lab inside the garage, where the explosion occurred.  Redmond Police, with the help and expertise of the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement team, applied for a search warrant to search for evidence of Unlawful Manufacture of Marijuana and its derivatives.

During the search of the residence, authorized by a Deschutes County Circuit Court judge, a marijuana growing operation was discovered.  The growing operation far exceeded the amounts legally permitted.  Over 50 mature marijuana plants were seized as evidence.  Additionally, approximately $26,000 in cash, 14 firearms and evidence of a BHO lab was seized.

While searching the garage, where the explosion occurred, 11 pipe bombs were found, with racing fuel nearby.  The Oregon State Police Bomb Squad was contacted and responded from Salem to take possession of the pipe bombs and render them safe.

“Our community is extremely fortunate this incident was not any worse than it was,” Chambers said in a news release. “BHO lab explosions have been known to cause large fires, knock homes off of foundations and cause property damage to neighboring buildings.  There likely would have been far more damage had the racing fuel and or the pipe bombs exploded.”

At this time, no arrests have been made, and no one has been charged with a crime.  A report documenting this incident will be sent to the Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office for review, and a charging decision.  As a result, the Redmond Police Department will not be identifying those injured in this incident.

“Hash oil,” also known as “honey oil,” is derived from marijuana.  The “hash” or “honey” 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 have been a dramatic increase in the number of marijuana BHO lab explosions in Oregon in recent years --  to the extent, the Oregon State Police has reformed 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.

Your Redmond Police Department will continue to investigate this incident until the District Attorney’s Office renders an opinion on any criminal charges.  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.

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