Butte County sheriff's officials announced the arrest of five people in connection with marijuana growing operations after search warrants were served at two locations earlier this week.
On Wednesday, deputies from the Butte County Sheriff's Office-Special Enforcement Unit executed a search warrant in the 12700 block of Center Gap Road in the Chico area. They located Cara Maarie Henry, 32, and Evan Douglas Anderson, 28, both of Chico, at the residence, and both were detained, according to a Sheriff's Office news release.
A search of the residence turned up a butane honey oil lab consisting of marijuana, butane, extraction tubes, coffee filters, a hot plate and a vacuum machine, officials said. Several Pyrex-type dishes containing butane hone oil residue were inside the house.
Deputies also found 140 grams of finished butane honey oil, 8 pounds of marijuana bud and 10.5 pounds of marijuana bud on stem, according to sheriff's officials. They also reported finding evidence of marijuana sales in the form of pay-and-owe documents, scales and 1-pound bags of marijuana bud contained in oven bags.
During a search of the property, deputies also reported finding 24 large marijuana plants hidden in the surrounding brush and 14 marijuana plants growing inside the home in rock-wool in the kitchen.
Both Henry and Anderson were arrested on suspicion of cultivating marijuana, possessing marijuana for sale and manufacturing a controlled substance, butane honey oil.
Sheriff's officials stressed that manufacturing of butane honey oil is extremely dangerous due to the flammability and explosive nature of butane. Such manufacturing operations have caused several fires, deaths and injuries to people during the manufacturing process, they said. In this case, officials noted, the manufacturing was being done in a flammable setting of dried brush and trees in Butte Creek Canyon, creating a fire danger for all residents of the area.
The second search warrant was executed Thursday in the 3300 block of Pentz Road in Butte Valley.
The search of the residence turned up a butane honey oil lab consisting of butane, an extraction tube, filters, marijuana and finished butane hone oil, according to the news release. Deputies also located a bubble hash operation that included an industrial ice machine, washing machines and bubble bags, officials said. Also found were 60 pounds of processed marijuana, packaged in 1-pound bags. Seventy-seven marijuana plants were found growing in an outdoor area and were eradicated by deputies, officials said.
They also reported finding in the home several prescription pills, which were being crushed and snorted, as well as anabolic steroids.
Deputies arrested Dominc Berlingeri, 24, of Benecia, John Michael Bishop, 35, of Boynton Beach, Fla., and James Michael Brown Jr., 40, of Butte Valley.
Berlingeri was arrested on suspicion of cultivating marijuana, possessing marijuana for sale and possessing Adderall, a Schedule II controlled substance. Sheriff's officials said Berlingeri also was found to be out of jail on his own recognizance from Mendocino County and was also arrested on suspicion of committing a felony while out on his own recognizance.
Bishop was arrested on suspicion of cultivating marijuana, possessing marijuana for sale and possessing Ritalin, a Schedule II controlled substance.
Brown was arrested on suspicion of cultivating marijuana, possessing marijuana for sale, manufacturing a controlled substance and possessing anabolic steroids.