Lab Busted in Warner Springs


Last updated 9/21/2021 at 12:34pm

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department seized more than $80 million in drugs including hash oil, psilocybin mushrooms and processed marijuana from a Warner Springs lab on Sept. 10, officials reported.

Investigators served a search warrant on the property on state Route 79 at the intersection with San Felipe Road at 28519 Highway 79 in Warner Springs. The warrant was part of an investigation by Sheriff’s detectives of a Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) Extraction Lab in the county.

Detectives from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department’s Marijuana Enforcement Team (MET), with the assistance of deputies from the Sheriff’s Fallbrook Crime Suppression Team (CST), Valley Center CST, Vista Station’s Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving (C.O.P.P.S.) unit, and Sheriff’s detectives from the San Diego Integrated Narcotics Task Force were on the scene, seizing nearly three tons of hash oil with an estimated street value of $81.5 million, 460.5 pounds of processed marijuana and 5.5 pounds of psilocybin, or psychedelic mushrooms, with a street value of $6,600, along with a loaded firearm, officials said.

Psilocybin labs have specific safety concerns due to the unique dangers they create with potential for spore contamination. They also found hazardous materials that they said are used to process THC and which can contaminate local ground water supply and streams. It is not uncommon for investigators to find hazardous materials with large amounts of hash oil, which is indicative of a possible THC extraction lab. Experts with the county’s hazmat team and federal Drug Enforcement Administration were called to remove the hazardous substances.

Investigators believe the drugs found at the Warner Springs property were destined for unlicensed Southern California marijuana dispensaries. The warrant follows community concerns about illegal marijuana operations near schools and residential areas.

“We want to assure those we serve know the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department is listening to the community and recognizes the negative impact illicit cannabis operations have on our neighborhoods,” a press released by the Sheriff’s Department said.

Felony charges will be filed with the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office against the two people who were arrested at the scene in connection with the alleged operations and materials found at the lab.