Thursday, July 19, 2018
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Narcs in Nevada County Raid Honey Oil Lab

A pot bust in Nevada County in June ended with sheriff’s deputies seizing weed, butane containers, weapons, and thousands of dollars in cash.

Marijuana and GunTwo people were arrested at the scene of the raid. Eric Paul Normart, 45, and Jillian Rose Terzian, 26, were charged with manufacturing a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, and committing a felony while armed.

The Nevada County Sheriff’s Narcotics Task Force raided a house after a neighbor complained of a strong marijuana smell. Inside, police found evidence of a honey oil operation, including 60 full butane cans and 125 empty containers, and a half-ounce of honey oil.

“Three bedrooms had been converted to indoor marijuana drying and processing rooms,” said Sheriff’s Detective John Dzioba.

Raid Leads to Second Location

Sheriff’s deputies said they didn’t find evidence of cultivation on the property, aside from signs marijuana plants had been grown there in the past. But they said they found an illegal assault rifle with a pistol grip and no state-mandated “bullet button” to prevent easy reloading.

The raid also turned up evidence of a second location nearby, a larger house and the base of the alleged operation, deputies said. They served a search warrant on that property as well.

“The main residence was primarily being used to trim and process marijuana,” Dzioba said.

Deputies said they found 150 pounds of weed during the second raid, some of it harvested, some of it still on the stem. Pot was packaged in brown paper bags, plastic Baggies, and boxes, police said.

Police Cracking Down on Honey Oil

Honey oil has become an increasingly popular commodity across the United States, especially in places such as California where medical or recreational pot is legal. But the manufacturing process requires butane, which is highly explosive.

Honey Wax, Hash OilThere have been several high-profile explosions in California in recent months, usually sparked by someone making honey oil indoors. Reputable manufacturers only make the product outdoors.

That problem has led to an increase in weed-related raids in some places. Nevada County, a Republican-leaning region in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, is cracking down on the operations.

“There is more money in hash oil, about $40 to $60 a gram,” Dzioba said. “And you can use more of the plant.”

Honey oil, also known as hash oil, is a potent resin extracted from marijuana. It’s removed from the plant using pressurized butane. Extracting the oil at home indoors is especially dangerous, and it’s how many explosions happen.

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