Friday, May 12, 2017

Togiak Fisheries Cannery worker James Schneider, 56, found dead after falling from the canney dock in Togiak, Alaska

Oregon man found dead after falling from remote Alaska cannery dock 

By KTVA CBS 11 News 

12:58 PM May 11, 2017

An Oregon man working at a remote Alaska cannery died Wednesday, after falling off of the cannery dock 15 feet during low tide, according to Alaska State Troopers.

In a dispatch from the agency, they wrote that they were notified of a body found at the beach, near the Togiak Fisheries Cannery in Twin Hills, at 6:25 p.m. Wednesday. Troopers said James Schneider, 56, was found face down in the mud. His co-workers attempted CPR for 20 to 30 minutes before staff from the Kanakanak Hospital, in Dillingham pronounced him dead.

A Togiak village public safety officer and troopers responded.

No foul play is suspected. His remains will be sent to the Medical Examiner’s office in Anchorage.

The investigation is ongoing.

The North Pacific Seafoods plant in Togiak is known as Togiak Fisheries. The plant is located on Togiak Bay in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska.

It lies near the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge and is the gateway to Walrus Island Game Sanctuary.

There are two neighboring Alaska Native villages within sight of the plant.

Togiak Village (pop. 804) is approximately 2.5 miles across Togiak Bay from the plant and can be reached only by boat or plane. Twin Hills (pop. 80) is six miles from the plant and can be accessed by 4-wheel drive vehicle.

Both villages are traditional Yup’ik Eskimo communities with a fishing and subsistence lifestyle.

Togiak Bay is located about 67 miles west of Dillingham, or about 30 minute plane flight. Dillingham is about 329 miles southwest of Anchorage.

The Togiak plant was purchased by North Pacific in 1996. Today, the plant processes herring during early May, and salmon, halibut, and salmon roe from mid-June until the end of July.

Former SSA Judge David Black Daugherty, 81, pleaded guilty in federal court in Lexington, KY to two felony charges of accepting $609,000 in bribes

Former SSA Judge David Black Daugherty, 81
Eric Conn

Ex-judge admits taking $609,000 in bribes in Conn disability fraud

By Bill Estep

A longtime Social Security Administration judge took more than $609,000 in bribes in less than seven years to award disability benefits to thousands of clients of well-known lawyer Eric C. Conn, the former judge admitted Friday.

David Black Daugherty, 81, pleaded guilty in federal court in Lexington to two felony charges of accepting illegal gratuities.

The charges carry a maximum prison sentence of four years.

Prosecutors and Daugherty’s attorney agreed that the maximum sentence would be appropriate, though that will not bind U.S. District Judge Danny C. Reeves at sentencing in August, according to the plea document.

Daugherty also agreed to pay the government a judgment of $609,000 as part of his plea.

Conn has also pleaded guilty. He is scheduled to be sentenced in July.

Court documents in the case describe an extensive, long-running scheme by the two to defraud the federal government of disability payments.

Daugherty, who now lives in Myrtle Beach, S.C., became a federal administrative law judge in 1990. His job was to decide appeals in cases where benefits had been denied.

He worked in the Huntington, W.Va., office, which heard appeals from Eastern Kentucky.

That’s where Conn built a practice as one of the top disability lawyers in the nation, promoting himself on television and on billboards.

Conn was flamboyant, working out of an office complex made of five connected mobile homes in Floyd County with a 19-foot-tall statue of Abraham Lincoln out front. He once put a Miss Kentucky USA on the payroll for $70,000 a year as his public relations director.

But Conn admitted he cheated to win, falsifying medical documents to show clients were disabled and paying doctors to sign the evaluations.

Daugherty then arranged for Conn’s cases to be assigned to him — taking files off other judges’ desks in some cases — and rubber-stamped the claims.

Conn said Daugherty told him in October 2004 that his decisions were making Conn a lot of money and asked Conn for $5,000 to pay for addiction treatment for a family member.

Daugherty confirmed that account in his plea Friday.

Conn began paying Daugherty monthly after that.

One of the charges covered in Daugherty’s plea was for cash he took in Floyd County. The other was for bribes he took in Lawrence County, where he met Conn in a parking lot in Louisa from 2006 through 2011 to take cash.

That was after Daugherty stopped bothering to come to Prestonsburg to hear Conn’s cases, instead deciding them without holding hearings.

Daugherty said he called Conn to tell him which cases were coming up on the docket and whether he needed to submit evidence of physical or mental impairment.

From October 2004 to April 2011, Conn made a payment to Daugherty for each favorable decision Daugherty made awarding benefits to a client of Conn.

Daugherty awarded benefits to people represented by Conn in 3,149 cases during that time, according to a court document.

For Conn’s part, he received at least $7.1 million in attorney fees from the Social Security Administration in cases involved in the scheme.

Daugherty’s decisions in those cases would have obligated the government to pay $550 million in benefits, the court document said.

The government actually paid $46.5 million to people that the agency has determined were not eligible to receive before the scheme came to light, according to a document in Conn’s case.

Daugherty retired abruptly in 2011 after federal authorities began investigating. Whistleblowers in the Huntington office had raised red flags about Daugherty and Conn for years.

The Social Security Administration abruptly notified hundreds of Conn’s former clients in May 2015 that it was cutting off their benefits because of suspicions that fraudulent information had been used in their claims, and said it would redetermine whether they would remain eligible.

The move was a blow in Eastern Kentucky, where disability income is a significant part of the economy.

The agency decided not to cut off checks during the re-determination process after Republican U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers interceded.

However, it has gone ahead with the re-determination hearings.

The agency ultimately identified about 1,500 beneficiaries, most of them in Eastern Kentucky, for re-determination hearings, said Prestonsburg attorney Ned Pillersdorf, who led an effort to find attorneys for the people.

When Conn pleaded guilty in March, Pillersdorf said many of the hearings were over and a little less than half the people won decisions to keep their benefits.

That meant about 800 people lost money they depended on, Pillersdorf said, calling it a “humanitarian crisis.”

The people can appeal.

Conn faces up to 12 years in prison. He also agreed to pay the government $5.7 million and pay $46.5 million in restitution to the Social Security Administration.

Charges remain in a case against Pikeville psychologist Alfred Bradley Adkins, who allegedly signed false mental-impairment evaluations of Conn’s clients. Adkins has pleaded innocent.

Federal jury convicted William Curtis Howell, a former eastern Kentucky deputy jailer, of using excessive force against an inmate, who died.

Former Deputy Jailer Convicted of Beating Inmate Who Died
A federal jury has convicted a former eastern Kentucky deputy jailer of using excessive force against an inmate, who died.

May 12, 2017, at 4:16 p.m.

Former Deputy Jailer Convicted of Beating Inmate Who Died

LONDON, Ky. (AP) — A federal jury has convicted a former eastern Kentucky deputy jailer of using excessive force against an inmate, who died.

The U.S. attorney's office said 60-year-old William Curtis Howell was also convicted Thursday in London, Kentucky, of deliberately ignoring the serious medical needs of the inmate, 54-year-old Larry Trent, who was in jail on a DUI charge.

Howell and Damon Wayne Hickman were deputy jailers at Kentucky River Regional Jail in Hazard. Prosecutors say the two men beat Trent in 2013 and left him in his cell injured and bleeding. Hickman pleaded guilty last fall and testified against Howell.

Another employee noticed Trent lifeless and emergency personnel were called. Prosecutors said in a news release that Trent was pronounced dead at a local hospital that afternoon. Howell is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 16.


Kevin Eugene Asher, 32


Former Perry County deputy jailer convicted in assault on inmate

A former supervisory deputy at the regional jail in Perry County violated an inmate’s rights by beating him and wrote a false report to cover the crime, a federal jury ruled Wednesday.

Jurors convicted Kevin Eugene Asher, 32, on both charges he faced.

U.S. District Judge Amul R. Thapar scheduled sentencing for Asher in August. He faces up to 20 years in prison on the most serious charge that he obstructed justice with a false report on the incident.

The attack happened in November 2012 and involved an inmate named Gary Hill, who’d been arrested on disorderly conduct and other charges.

Hill got mad when jail authorities wouldn’t let him make a telephone call and tried to flood the floor of his cell with water from the sink, according to court records.

Another supervisory deputy named Damon Wayne Hickman then knocked Hill to the floor. Hickman and Asher kicked Hill in the head several times while he was down, the indictment charged.

When Hill told the two they would be in trouble for assaulting him, Hickman and Asher grabbed the jail insignias on their uniforms and told Hill they were “the law” and could do what they wanted, Assistant U.S. Attorney Hydee Hawkins said in one court document.

Asher later wrote a false report saying Hill had acted aggressively toward officers before slipping on the wet floor, according to one motion.

Hickman pleaded guilty in a separate case last year to beating an inmate in July 2013 named Larry Trent, who died a few hours later.

Hickman, who has not been sentenced, testified against Asher, saying the two of them kicked Hill while he lay curled in the fetal position, according to a release from acting U.S. Attorney Carlton S. Shier IV.

Hickman testified that he beat Hill some more after he and Asher put Hill in a restraint chair.

Asher’s attorney, David S. Hoskins, argued in one motion that Hickman was lying about Asher’s involvement in the assault on Hill in order to get a lesser sentence.

Jurors deliberated about four hours before returning the guilty verdict against Asher.

Thapar placed Asher on home detention pending sentencing, according to court minutes.

Another former deputy at the jail, William Curtis Howell, faces trial May 8 on charges that he took part in assaulting Trent and then ignored his need for medical care.

Owner of Wirth Co. landscaping company, Mike Wirth, died inside a massively flooded basement north of Ketchum, Idaho

A Ketchum, ID man died Wednesday after attempting to pump water from the basement of a home at the eastern end of Eagle Creek Road, north of Ketchum.

Mike Wirth, 54, who was hired to work at the site, died after being brought to the hospital Wednesday afternoon, family friend Susan Teren confirmed. Teren is also the office manager of Wirth Co., a Ketchum-based landscaping company that Wirth owned with his wife, Tami Nakaoka.

The Ketchum and Sun Valley fire departments were dispatched around 11 a.m. Wednesday to reports of a man trapped in a flooded basement.

“It was in the basement; there was water,” and Wirth was alone, Teren said. Wirth had 40 years of experience with such work, she said.

“It wasn’t a reckless thing,” she said.

Teren said the home’s owner contacted Wirth Co. on Monday looking for a new landscaper, but “the first problem to solve was the water in the basement.”

“We do not know what he died from yet,” Teren said. “They’re investigating.”

Wirth was in the basement on Tuesday with another employee, Teren said, and the employee told her the water was too deep for him to enter.

She said Wirth was wearing a wet-suit and diving into the water in a “really dark space” of the basement, attempting to unclog an apparatus that was pumping water out of the basement.

After attempting to clear the clog Tuesday, “he went back yesterday alone, and nobody knows what happened,” Teren said Thursday.

In conducting an interview with the Idaho Mountain Express, Teren said she and Nakaoka hoped to dispel rumors that had been circulating online about Wirth’s death.

Blaine County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Will Fruehling said at the scene that first responders could initially communicate with Wirth, but that Wirth fell silent before they could reach him.

Once Wirth was removed from the basement, CPR was performed and he was transported to St. Luke’s Wood River hospital, where he later was pronounced dead.

Blaine County Sheriff Steve Harkins confirmed that an incident at the home was under investigation, but said that additional details about the case could not immediately be released.

It is possible that he was electrocuted to death.



On May 10, 2017 at approximately 11:10 am, Blaine County Communications dispatched deputies from the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office and a technical rescue team from the Ketchum Fire Department to 85 Eagle Creek Road, north of Ketchum, Idaho.

A 911 call from 68 year old, John T. Hastings, and 56 year old, Andrea M. Hastings, reported a male calling for help in the flooded basement of their residence.

The victim was the owner of a landscape company assisting the Hastings with flooding related issues. The rescue team went into the basement and were able to locate and retrieve the unconscious victim in a secondary room of the unlit basement in approximately 6 feet of water.

Ketchum Fire Department medics began CPR and then the victim was transported by ambulance to St. Luke’s Wood River Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. The victim was identified at the hospital to be 54 year old, Ketchum resident, Mike J. Wirth.

The cause of death is still undetermined at this time. The incident is currently under investigation.

The Blaine County Sheriff's Department has ordered the mandatory evacuation of 16 more homes in the Della Vista neighborhood of Hailey, bringing the total number of homes under mandatory evacuation to 21.

The affected homes are south of Della Vista Drive and west of Red Elephant.

The move is a precautionary one. Officials expect the Wood River to rise to about 7.83 feet--just above what it rose to last Sunday. Six feet is flood stage.

Authorities are also concerned about 20 mile per hour winds today and Saturday in Hailey, said Carol Brown, public information officer for the City of Hailey.

Meanwhile, a 54-year-old Ketchum man has died, possibly of flood related injuries.

Mike J. Wirth, 54, was found unconscious in about 6 feet of water in the basement of a home at 85 Eagle Creek Road. He was given CPR and transported to St. Luke's Wood River Hospital but succumbed to injuries.

The homeowners--John and Andrea Hastings--called 911 after they heard Wirth calling for help from the basement where he was helping them with flood related issues. A technical rescue team responded to the call. Wirth is owner of a landscaping company.

The cause of death is under investigation.

Meanwhile, authorities have cancelled the 6th annual Mud Run and Arborfest scheduled Saturday at Hailey's Hop Porter Park. It didn't seem right to hold it this year, creating a mud bog in Hop Porter Park, given the widespread flooding taking place in the Wood River Valley, said one first responder.

Besides, he added, emergency personnel who normally prepare the mud bog are busy dealing with the flooding.

KETCHUM, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - On May 10th the Blaine County Sheriff's Office was dispatched to a home north of Ketchum for a 911 call.

A man was trapped in a flooded basement of a home on Eagle Creek Road. When the rescue crews arrived they pulled the unconscious man, 54-year-old Mike Wirth from 6 feet of water. He passed away at the hospital.

Mike's friends said wanting to help was something he was known for.

"That's what got him up in the morning. To really go out and help people solve problems, and this was a big problem," said Susan Teren, a long-time family friend.

Wirth owned the Wirth Company, a landscaping business he ran in the town for 30 years.

"He's had this business for 30 years and he worked for other landscapers before that. So he's really a big part of this community and he'll be missed by a lot of people," Teren said.

In addition to his business Mike was the drummer in a band, Mike and the Earaches.

Sunday his family and friends will remember him with a memorial at Lefty's Bar and Grill in Ketchum.

His band will play from 5-7. His mom said family is coming into town from all over to celebrate Mike's life.

The Blaine County Sheriff's office is still investigating the cause of death and will release more information when they have it.

Off-duty Alameda County Sheriff’s Deputy Sroeuy Khin was killed after being rear-ended by a tour bus carrying Tesla employees on I-580 East Bay freeway

Off-duty Alameda Co. Sheriff’s Deputy killed in crash with Tesla employee bus on I-580

By KRON 4 Staff 

Updated: May 12, 2017, 4:35 pm


(KRON) — An off-duty Alameda County Sheriff’s Deputy was killed after being rear-ended by a tour bus carrying Tesla employees Friday morning on an East Bay freeway, according to California Highway Patrol.

The collision was reported just after 7:00 a.m. on eastbound Interstate 580 at Grant Line Rd. near Altamont Pass, according to CHP.

The deputy was driving a Volkswagen when hit by the bus that was en route to Stockton.

The bus was carrying 55 employees of Tesla, Inc. at the time and one passenger was treated for minor injuries at the scene and released.

Three lanes of Highway 580 were initially closed to traffic in the area. All lanes were reopened by 2 p.m.

Alameda County Sheriff’s officials have identified the deputy as Sroeuy Khin.

Khin would have turned 51 on Saturday. He leaves behind his wife and four children.

The 10-year veteran of the force was on his way home from working overtime.

The bus driver indicated that the sun was in his eyes when he ran into the back of the Volkswagen, which had come to a stop on the roadway, said CHP spokesman Officer Derek Reed.

Investigators are still trying to determine why the car was stopped.

Tesla statement:

“We are aware of an accident this morning involving an independently-operated shuttle carrying Tesla employees and another vehicle. All Tesla employees on the bus are safe and accounted for, however we are deeply saddened by reports that there was a fatality as a result of the accident. We will lend any support that we can to the authorities who are investigating the incident.”

Details on the accident are still being investigated at this time.

The official Twitter account of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department posted a photo of Khin this afternoon along with a brief message.”In Memory of Deputy Sheriff

“In Memory of Deputy Sheriff Sroeuy Khin who died today in a tragic vehicle accident,” the Twitter message says. “Our thoughts and prayers to his family and friends.”


An off-duty Alameda County sheriff’s deputy who was killed Friday when a bus carrying Tesla employees crashed into his car near Tracy was a 10-year veteran of the force, a husband and a father of four, according to officials.

Deputy Sroeuy Khin was killed about 7 a.m. when his white Volkswagen Beetle was rear-ended by the bus on Interstate 580 at Interstate 205 on the Altamont Pass, said Alameda County Sheriff Gregory Ahern.

Khin died a day before his 51st birthday while driving to his home in San Joaquin County after working a 12-hour shift at the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, Ahern said.

The collision occurred when Khin’s car either slowed or came to a stop in a middle lane of the freeway and the bus slammed into the rear of the vehicle, said Cmdr. Christopher Sherry of the California Highway Patrol Division in Dublin. He said the bus was estimated to be going 65 mph when it plowed into Khin’s car.

The bus driver, whose name was not immediately released, told CHP officers that he didn’t see the car because the sun was in his eyes.

Khin had been with the Sheriff’s Office since March 2007.

“He was one of the first people I hired,” Ahern said. “He’s just a hardworking guy trying to take care of his family the best he can.”

He described Khin as “one of our most dedicated employees.”

The Rise of Hash Oil Extraction Explosions Across the United States

The Rise of Hash Oil Extraction Explosions
The national media is increasingly reporting on cases of explosions due to the production of honey oil, also known as hash oil or dabs, across the country. The production process uses butane, and explosions from honey oil production have blown walls out, moved houses off foundations, and caused people severe burns.   
While most home labs are small, there are reports of bulk operations in which hundreds of cans of butane can be on-site. Any size lab is a serious danger; first responders should familiarize themselves with the signs of such labs: butane canisters, Pyrex dishes, marijuana, coffee filters, and an extraction vessel that could either be glass or a PVC pipe combination that resembles a pipe bomb.

It seems that every week or so there is a gas explosion inside somebody’s home or inside a car or a bathroom that have been caused during the extraction of oils from marihuana plants.  Just two days ago, another such explosion occurred in Tigard, Oregon.  In that explosion, two men are in serious condition after police say they blew up a gas station explosion in Tigard early Sunday morning while trying to make hash oil with marijuana and butane. 

The explosion caused significant damage to the 76 gas station bathroom on Greenburg Road, and fire extended through a false ceiling.  The two Tigard men who were making hash oil inside bathroom initially tried to put out the fire themselves and they suffered severe burns; they are listed in serious condition.

Investigators determined that a heat gun used to evaporate the butane caused the fire.  Hash oil, also known as honey oil or shatter, is heated and inhaled in what's known as "dabbing”, a popular form of smoking marijuana.  To make it, highly flammable butane or another suitable solvent such as isopropyl alcohol, is poured through marijuana to extract the cannabinoids, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and other chemicals from the plant matter.  
 Hash oil is typically made by packing the castoff leaves and stems of pot plants into a pipe and pouring the highly flammable butane through it.  The solvent is then evaporated, leaving a golden color sticky residue that resembles oil or honey.  Of course these butane vapors linger in the room where the extraction took place.  Only some pretty stupid people would attempt such a process inside an unventilated room.

It typically doesn't take much during the extraction process to cause an explosion, especially in an unventilated small space such as bathroom or inside a car.  Anything from static electricity to a wall socket can spark a potentially deadly explosion.  Or, the flame from the heat gun to subsequently cook the oil can explode the lingering butane fumes.

In another major case that occurred last year, seven Seattle, WA people accused of causing explosions while extracting hash oil from marijuana were charged Tuesday in federal court.  The explosions -- which happened in Bellevue, Kirkland, Seattle and Puyallup -- injured a number of bystanders and caused thousands of dollars in damage. 
Without proper ventilation, butane fumes can linger. All it takes is a spark of static electricity to ignite a room.  Former Bellevue Mayor Nan Campbell was hospitalized for a broken pelvis she suffered trying to escape the flames.  She later died following complications after her hospitalization, according to prosecutors.  Two other apartment residents suffered shattered bones as they had to jump from their upper level apartments.
These deadly explosions are reckless and preventable acts.  Unfortunately, as marijuana cultivation activities increase, explosions will continue.  This is a dangerous threat. 

FEMA Alert on the Fire and Explosion Hazards
Last year, FEMA posted an alert in its emergency services bulletin titled “Hash Oil Explosions Increasing Across US.” Alongside more quotidian warnings of cyber terrorism and industrial vapor clouds, it described an uptick in explosions at apartments and hotel rooms involving “a process using butane to extract and concentrate compounds from marijuana,” destructive incidents that FEMA warned could even be mistaken for pipe bomb or meth lab explosions.

A clear, golden brown cannabis derivative also known as honey oil, shatter, wax and “earwax,” butane hash oil (BHO) has some distinct advantages over traditional marijuana: It has very little smell, either in its solid form or when vaporized, is very portable, and can achieve intense effects with small amounts.  A pound of marijuana typically generates 1/10 to 1/15 of a pound of hash oil.
BHO has been gaining in popularity in the past three years.  But as its popularity grows, so do the number of hash oil enthusiasts eager to attempt their own homebrew BHO, a process that usually involves the highly flammable solvent butane or isopropyl alcohol.  The result in a number of cases, as the FEMA bulletin notes, has been “fires and explosions [that] have blown out windowswalls, and caused numerous burn injuries.”

Hash oil is typically produced by filling a cylindrical glass or stainless steel canister with pot (Bed Bath and Beyond’s metal turkey basters are a popular choice), and flooding the canister with a solvent — usually butane — that strips the plant matter of its cannabinoid-containing oils. 
The resulting mixture of psychotropic plant oil and chemicals is then purified to remove traces of the solvent. One common method of butane removal includes boiling it off in a hot water bath, while another involves the use of a vacuum pump and vacuum chamber to lower butane’s boiling point, pulling butane from the oil.

What makes it dangerous is not so much the extraction process itself, but rather the problem of improper butane ventilation.  Butane is highly flammable and it tends to sink, meaning that if you use it indoors or don’t ventilate well, you’ll run into serious trouble.  Let some butane puddle in your living room, throw in a thoughtless spark from a cigarette, stove, or — dare I suggest — bong hit, and suddenly your apartment is missing a wall.

That’s allegedly what happened in January, when three people were injured after a hash oil extraction gone wrong blew through the walls of a San Diego hotel.  A few months earlier, an Oregon man suffered burns in a similar explosion that blew out the windows in his apartment and sent him to the hospital. 
Although it’s perfectly possible to make hash oil safely, such explosions are the result of a relatively small number of hash oil producers who fail to take even the most basic precautions.  The number one precaution is to never make oil indoors.

Hash-oil operation suspected in fatal San Bernardino County explosion

First responders were on the scene of what was initially believed to be a gas explosion at a home in the community of Muscoy in San Bernardino County. The blast killed one person and left two others in critical condition.
Authorities who say they found significant amounts of marijuana and butane in the debris of a blown-up home believe a hash-oil operation may have caused a massive explosion that killed a man and injured two others.
Those inside the makeshift home may have been producing "butane honey oil" when it exploded, said Cindy Bachman, spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.
Firefighters sifting through the ruins found the man's remains in what appeared to be a basement, she said.

The explosion occurred at 6 p.m. Wednesday in a home located in the rear of a property in the 3000 block of Gray Street in Muscoy.
Firefighters found a man outside the home with severe burns, according to the San Bernardino County Fire Department. A woman was partially covered by debris when firefighters found her.
She suffered a serious head injury as well as blunt-force trauma, fire officials said.
The basement area sustained significant damage during the blast, causing the poorly constructed home to collapsed into it.
"The blast was so significant that the freshly paved road in the front of the surrounding homes actually buckled in several places," the Fire Department said in a statement.
Firefighters first believed the explosion was caused by a gas leak, but later determined it stemmed from illegal drug activity.
"Butane honey oil” is a waxy substance that can produce a strong high when inhaled. It doesn't have the potent odor of marijuana.
Because hash oil has gained popularity, some beginners have attempted to make it in their homes. But that has resulted in several explosions, officials say.
Two men accused of operating a hash-oil extraction laboratory were burned in a similar explosion in March in the city of Commerce.
A suspected drug lab at a home in Malibu exploded in April, injuring one person, authorities said.

Suspected 'hash oil' lab explodes in Malibu home; 1 man burned

A suspected drug lab at a home in Malibu caught fire and exploded Tuesday, injuring one person who had to be transported to the hospital via helicopter, authorities said.
Firefighters responded to the home in the 1200 block of Encinal Canyon Road shortly before 6:15 p.m. to find it fully engulfed in flames, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Authorities later discovered the substance “honey oil” -- a type of marijuana oil -- at the residence, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Sgt. Fray Lupian told KTLA-TV.
A 25-year-old man who was burned in the explosion and ensuing fire was airlifted to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center to be treated for his injuries, authorities said.
The man, who was not immediately identified, would likely be arrested on drug-related charges after recovering, Lupian said.

A hazardous materials crew was still at the scene shortly before 2 a.m. Wednesday, according to the fire department.
“Butane honey oil,” also called “wax,” has been a growing trend in the marijuana market, officials said. Dabs of it can be vaporized and inhaled without the smoke and pungent odor of marijuana, an act called “dabbing.” The method produces a stronger high even among those who have strong tolerance to cannabis.

The widespread popularity of the waxy substance has led many to attempt the extraction method, often resulting in injuries.
Two men suspected of operating what authorities said was a “butane honey oil extraction laboratory,” in which marijuana is turned into the "hash oil," were burned in a similar explosion last month in the city of Commerce.

One of several butane bottles located inside the home may have exploded and caused the fire, authorities said.
Earlier this month in Glendale, police reported that they busted a hash oil operation, saying that the potential for a large explosion at the lab was "huge."

Hash Oil Lab Explosion Destroys Apartment
Two people were severely burned in the explosion, according to sheriff's officials

Friday, Feb 21, 2014 • Updated at 6:07 AM PST
Two people were rushed to the hospital after a reported hash oil explosion in El Cajon. 
The San Miguel Fire District received calls about an explosion just after 2:30 p.m. in the 1400 block of Brabham Street. 
When they arrived, they found one apartment destroyed and several others damaged. Two apartment residents were severely burned and were taken to the hospital.
The San Diego Sheriff's Department said investigators found a hash oil lab had exploded. 
Residents of the apartment had to be evacuated for a time. 
Sheriff's deputies and fire officials remained on scene to investigate.

Two men injured in suspected 'hash oil' explosion in Commerce

Los Angeles County fire hazmat technician Terry Wilkinson surveys the damage from an explosion caused by a suspected drug manufacturing process in the city of Commerce. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
Two men suffered burn-related injuries in a suspected hash oil explosion in the city of Commerce, authorities said.
Firefighters and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies responded around 8:10 p.m. to the 2300 block of Ayers Avenue regarding a call of a tree or transformer on fire, but when they arrived, they discovered that a home was ablaze.
The extent of the burn injuries suffered by the two men -- ages 18 and 21 -- were not immediately known.
It's the illegality of this stuff that leads idiots to try to make it in "secret" labs. legalize it, there's no more reason to hide it, and it'll be done safely, simply because nobody wants to blow themselves up if they can help it.
Arson investigators determined that the men -- who were not immediately identified -- had allegedly been operating a “butane honey oil extraction laboratory,” in which marijuana is turned into “hash oil” or “honey oil.”
One of several butane bottles located inside the home may have exploded and caused the fire, authorities said.

“Butane honey oil,” also called “wax,” has been a growing trend in the marijuana market.  Dabs of it can be vaporized and inhaled without the smoke and pungent odor of weed, an act called “dabbing.” The method produces a stronger high even among those who have strong tolerance to cannabis.
The widespread popularity of the waxy substance has led many to attempt the extraction method, often resulting in injuries.

In April, a 22-year-old man suffered second- and third-degree burns on his face and hands when an explosion tore through his home in Cottonwood.
Shasta County authorities told the Los Angeles Times the man was allegedly using butane to extract oil from marijuana leaves. At the time, it was the third explosion for the county in the last calendar year.
Authorities said the city of Commerce hash oil explosion caused about $300,000 in damage to the single-story home.
Narcotics-related charges are pending for the two men who remain hospitalized, the sheriff’s department said.
An investigation into the alleged drug lab remained ongoing.