The United States charged three men this week with endangering lives when the butane they used to produce two batches of hash oil exploded, according to federal court papers.
The first of the accidental detonations occurred on Nov. 23 at a Tigard 76 station, where Jose Rios-Soto and Dennis Tapia-Garcia allegedly were making the oil in a bathroom
Makers of hashish oil use butane to extract cannabinoids – including THC – from marijuana plants, the U.S. attorney’s office reported. The gas can fill an enclosed space quickly, detonating with a single spark.
Edwin Stacy, 56, lit a cigarette on Dec. 8 while making hash oil inside a Portland apartment complex, according to federal prosecutors. The explosion blew out an exterior wall.
A federal grand jury in Portland handed up indictments against Stacy, Rios-Soto and Tapia-Garcia on Wednesday. Each were charged with manufacturing a controlled substance and endangering human life while manufacturing a controlled substance. The endangering charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
The three men weren’t the first charged in Oregon for the crime.
Last July 29, Dale A. Corzine, a 29-year-old from Irvine, California, was making the potent cannabis concentrate inside his car at a Tri-Met park-and-ride lot in Tigard when the mixture exploded, according to U.S. prosecutors.
The explosion injured Corzine and destroyed his car.
Corzine, also charged in federal court, faces trial on Feb. 17, 2015.
— Bryan Denson