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January 9, 2017
On January 6, 2017, at 0926 HRS, several citizens reported a commercial fire at 220 Molalla Ave. Oregon City Police responded with Clackamas Fire District #1. When they arrived the building was fully engulfed. During the fire, Firefighters located what they believed was an illegal marijuana operation being conducted inside the commercial building. Clackamas Fire District #1 fire investigators notified the Oregon City Police Department of their findings. The Oregon City Police Department began investigating the crimes of Unlawful manufacture of marijuana (ORS 475.856), which is a Class B Felony crime, Unlawful possession of marijuana (ORS 475.864), which is a Class C Felony, and Reckless Burning (ORS 164.335), which is a Class A Misdemeanor.
The Oregon City Police Department with the assistance of the Oregon State Police and the Clackamas Fire District #1 obtained a search warrant for 220 Molalla Ave. During the search the Oregon City Police Department seized a large amount of marijuana, Cannabinoid extract, and evidence of the unlawful manufacture of marijuana, specifically Butane Hash Oil (BHO). BHO is commonly called, Shatter, wax glass, budder, honey oil, live resin, and dabs. Persons of interest have been identified by the Oregon City Police Department and detectives are currently investigating these persons. These names will not be release at this time, due to the ongoing investigation.
Under ORS 475.856 (3) (b) of this statute this is described as a Class B felony, if a person manufactures a cannabinoid extract. Cannabinoid extract is defined under ORS. 475B.015 (4)(a) as "a substance obtained by separating cannabinoids from marijuana by: A chemical extraction process using a hydrocarbon-based solvent, such as butane, hexane or propane;"
During the investigation the Oregon City Police Department did not locate licensing under ORS 475B.015 and ORS 475B.245 for 220 Molalla Ave.
The Oregon City Police Department and the Clackamas County Fire District #1 want the public to know that BHO extractions are extremely dangerous. Butane is highly volatile and can ignite easily. To ignite Butane it takes a minimal ignition source like static electricity. Using Butane in the extraction process can lead to a high concentration of volatile gas in the area where this extraction is being done. Concentrations of Butane inside a building or in a confined space, if ignited can cause an explosion and/or fire which can cause serious injury to include burns and also death.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation and is being led by Clackamas Fire District #1.
Refer to OCPD case #17-60.