The Merced County Sheriff's Office used its aviation unit to bust up an illegal marijuana cultivation site and butane laboratory in Snelling, the office said on Monday.
Sheriff Vern Warnke was with the aviation unit that spotted the large cultivation site in the 4200 block of Merced Falls Road during the weekend, according to a news release.
The property had two large "crudely made" greenhouses filled with weed plants, and Sgt. Ray Framstad found a butane honey oil oven. according to the release. Also in the home were several pressurized butane canisters. The oven makes a wax of concentrated cannabis extract, which is a mix of concrete oils, waxes, cannabinoids, terpenoids and sometimes chlorophyll, according to the release.
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The sheriff's office called in help from the Fresno’s High Impact Investigation Team because of the potentially dangerous disposal of the butane and pressurized oven, the release said.
Investigators found about 1.76 pounds of concentrated cannabis with a value of $60 per gram, or $50,000, according to the sheriff's office.
Deputies arrested 27-year-old Ryan Wood and 28-year-old Brittany Martinez, according to the release, on suspicion of marijuana cultivation and possession for sales. Wood remains in custody in lieu of more than $1 million in bail, according to jail records.