Two charged in Vista explosion sparked by butane hash oil lab

Two charged in Vista drug lab explosion
Posted at 5:00 PM, Sep 05, 2018

VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) — Two men are facing drug charges stemming from an explosion at a North County butane hash oil lab earlier this year.

Gregory Amos, 23, and Christopher Hernandez, 34, were charged this week in connection with the March 27 explosion on Barbara Dr. in Vista, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California.

The two face charges of conspiracy to distribute hashish oil, endangering human life while illegally manufacturing hashish oil, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.

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Investigators said the explosion on the balcony of the home where Amos and Hernandez were working out of sent shattered glass and dozens of butane cans into the surrounding neighborhood.

After the fire, officials said they found an active butane hash oil (BHO) laboratory at the home and a number of items related to its production, including marijuana and lab equipment.

"BHO manufacturing poses an enormous threat to human life," said U.S. Attorney Adam L. Braverman. "No one is safe: not those involved in the illegal BHO manufacturing themselves; not those who happen to be living or visiting nearby; not first responders."

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BHO has an appearance similar to honey or butter. During its production, a flammable, odorless gas can evaporate and collect on the floor. The film left behind can accumulate to an explosive level if not properly ventilated.

Amos and Hernandez are set to be arraigned in court on Sept. 7.