EL CAJON, Calif. (KGTV) — A man is behind bars after authorities uncovered hundreds of pounds of marijuana and highly-flammable chemicals at a warehouse in El Cajon Thursday.
According to the DEA in San Diego, its narcotic task force and the El Cajon Police Department went to a warehouse in the 1400 block of Fayette Street to execute a search warrant.
As officers began to investigate the scene, they found an "active and sophisticated" hexane hash oil extraction laboratory operation.
Investigators say they seized around 390 pounds of unprocessed marijuana, 150 pounds of hexane-contaminated marijuana plant waste, 139 pounds of concentrated marijuana oil, sophisticated laboratory equipment, multiple 55-gallon drums containing hexane, and unused butane.
A man, whose name has not been released to the public pending an ongoing investigation, is charged with manufacturing a controlled substance.
“Due to the flammable solvents utilized in the marijuana extraction process, these types of laboratories pose an inherent threat to public safety,” said DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge Shelly S. Howe.
“The DEA and our partnering law enforcement agencies are committed to ensuring the safety of the public by dismantling dangerous labs such as this one.”
“The El Cajon Police Department would like to thank all of the agents, detectives, and fire and safety personnel who assisted in this investigation,” said El Cajon Police Department Lieutenant Keith MacArthur.
“These types of labs pose a significant threat to public safety. It was truly a team effort to shut down this dangerous operation.”
The DEA says excessive flammable solvent containers and unusual chemical odors can be telltale signs of a hash oil extraction lab. If anyone is aware of an illegal hash oil extraction laboratory in their neighborhood, please call the DEA at (858) 616-4100.