Santa Cruz County sheriff’s deputies last week arrested two men and seized more than 200 marijuana plants and a hash oil extraction lab in a three-unit an apartment building near Capitola, deputies said.
Both of the men arrested last Wednesday had legal recommendations to grow medical marijuana for personal use in the county but well exceeded the limit of 99 plants per parcel and were engaged in selling the drug for income, sheriff’s Sgt. Kelly Kent said.
Deputies used a search warrant last Wednesday to enter the apartment building on Felt Street near 17th Avenue in the unincorporated Live Oak area of Santa Cruz County west of Capitola, Kent said.
Inside the three rental units there, deputies recovered more than 200 marijuana plants, 10 pounds of processed marijuana buds, the illegal hash oil extraction lab, two guns and a quantity of methamphetamine, according to Kent.
The extraction lab involved a dangerous chemical process using butane gas to produce hash oil, also known as “butane honey oil,” Kent said.
Kyle Bingham, 28, was arrested on suspicion of cultivating marijuana, operating an illegal hash oil extraction lab and possession of methamphetamine, deputies said.
Frank Harris, 29, was arrested on suspicion of cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale, Kent said.
Deputies had received reports from citizens about constant noise from indoor growing equipment and unpleasant odors from the building and fears over bad electrical writing that could endanger nearby homes, according to Kent.
County code enforcers cited the apartment building’s owner with a notice of repairs for faulty and unsafe electrical wiring that had been altered by the suspects for the pot growing operation, he said.
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