Warner Super Hash Bust
Last updated 10/3/2019 at 10:50am
The Drug Enforcement Administration raided a five-acre ranch off Chihuahua Valley Road in Warner Springs back in May, seizing 1,400 pounds of marijuana, hash oil cartridges packed for distribution, several guns and ammunition, and stacks of cash.
It was called a “sophisticated hash oil extraction lab,” according to an unsealed federal complaint.
On Aug. 28, the DEA arrested Bradley Chase Gilmore, Richard Villanueva, Maritza Guiterrez and Else Fernandez in connection with the operation.
Three trailers made up the lab. One contained a fly-wheel compressor, refrigerant pump, and dozens of extraction tubes mounted to the trailer walls.
Another trailer housed the most dangerous component of the extraction process – 300 butane canisters – which are highly flammable.
“These butane hash oil labs, when they go wrong, they explode, causing damage not to just the individuals manufacturing it, but to the neighborhoods, and the entire city and county of San Diego, potentially,” Matthew Sutton, the prosecuting U.S. Attorney said.
It also contained several packages of marijuana inside and out, totaling 268 pounds.
Inside the third trailer, housing the equipment for the final stage of the hash oil extraction process, DEA agents discovered a “computer-automated THC oil vape cartridge filler,” the federal complaint stated. Next to it were 32 large mason jars filled with hash oil, syringes, used flasks and laboratory beakers.
The documents also stated that Gilmore’s home and residential trailer was the base of the operation.
Agents discovered dry-erase boards, ledgers, eight firearms and ammunition stashed inside.
An advertisement for “Samurai Senorita Edibles (Exotic Edibles)” was also found, with descriptions written out including, “Green Apples, Peach Dabs, Lemon Slice 15 per unit, Cherries 10 per/unit,” as well as business cards.
A shelf was built for marijuana-infused edibles, as well as several trays of hash oil cartridges.
DEA agents also seized multiple weapons – handguns, rifles, shotguns – all located on the property.
“All it takes is a stray spark to ignite, and it can cause everything from a house fire to a wildfire,” Sutton said about the location of the operation.