Sheriff: Human trafficking, 200 pounds of hash oil found in illegal Lake County lab
Detectives with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office discovered more than 200 pounds of illegally produced hash oil, several assault rifles and four people who were trafficked over the course of a monthslong, multiple-county investigation, according to authorities.
The investigation has involved executing more than 20 search warrants in Clearlake Oaks, Clearlake, Lower Lake, Kelseyville and Middletown in Lake County, along with Sacramento and West Sacramento.
During the investigation, detectives found a chemical manufacturing laboratory, which was using “volatile, combustible and highly flammable” chemicals to produce concentrated marijuana, in Middletown , according to a news release Thursday from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.
More than 200 pounds of hash oil, 7,000 pounds of processed marijuana, over 600 marijuana plants and an assault rifle were located at the site. Over 780 gallons of the chemicals, which were not properly stored, were also located and later removed by a hazardous materials teams.
The Sheriff’s Office found three people who were being trafficked and forced to work at the lab. The agency provided resources and services to the individuals.
Detectives later determined, using discovered ledgers and products, that the lab was producing over 200 pounds of hash oil on the days it was active, according to the release.
Another location ― associated with suspects involved in the Middletown laboratory ― was discovered in Clearlake . More than 11,000 marijuana plants and another person who was trafficked were also found.
Detectives later served multiple search warrants at properties in Sacramento and West Sacramento associated with the suspects. These searches turned up about 50,000 cartridges of ammunition, more than 100 pounds of hash oil, “large amounts” of packaged marijuana bud, more than 20 firearms ― including several assault rifles ― and over $300,000 in cash, which detectives said was earned through illegal sales, according to the release.
Other agencies that have assisted in this ongoing investigation are Lake County Victim/Witness advocates, CalFire, Lake County Fire Protection District, Department of Fish and Wildlife, California Department of Justice, Sacramento Police Department, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office, Lake County Code Enforcement, Clearlake Code Enforcement and Lake County Environmental Health.
No arrests were mentioned in the release, and the investigation is ongoing.
You can reach Staff Writer Madison Smalstig at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @madi.smals.
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