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Drug houses pose danger to neighbors, homebuyers, police; here’s how to spot them

By in Press Enterprise on October 8, 2017

By Brian Rokos

Soon after a law enforcement task force had served a narcotics search warrant on a home in the Wood Streets area of Riverside in September, a panicked real estate agent called a reporter: Was she connected to the home?

The owner of a rental property on Beechwood Place she represented was out of town, and she worried that the home was his. She was relieved to learn that it was not.

No one was arrested at the home, where Los Angeles police Detective Keith Honore said a quantity of the painkiller fentanyl was seized that was large enough to be sold — though a woman who lives there disputed the amount that was found.

Previously: Marijuana ‘honey oil’ labs OK — under certain conditions — under new California law

But the unnerving incident – police in hazardous materials suits moved in and out — put into focus the concern that innocent residents, law enforcement, real estate agents and crime scene cleanup companies have about the dangers posed by the drug or marijuana grow house or honey oil extraction lab next door.

“It just takes a little spark and there’s an explosion, and the individual with the extraction lab is possibly catching the surrounding neighborhood on fire,” said San Bernardino County sheriff’s Detective Mark Rios, who is assigned to the marijuana enforcement team and has investigated crimes involving other drugs.

Rios recalled a lab in Hesperia that blew up when fumes from butane, being used to extract the compound in cannabis responsible for the euphoric high, ignited. An oxygen tank that had been in the garage rocketed into a neighbor’s yard.

“That’s basically a missile,” Rios said.

Previously: Couple’s burn scars and regret show dangers of extracting honey oil from marijuana

Over the years, police investigating overdoses have taken ill after exposure to dangerous drugs, unaware homebuyers […]    

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