Father and son accused in ‘honey oil’ lab explosion in Riverside to stand trial

By in Press Enterprise on October 12, 2017

By City News Service

RIVERSIDE — A father and son accused of operating an illegal “honey oil” lab that triggered a fire in their Riverside home, displacing themselves and three other people, must stand trial for alleged manufacturing of illegal drugs and other felonies, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Daniel Lewis Elder, 21, was arrested along with his father, 56-year-old Charles Henry Elder, last November following the blaze in the 7400 block of El Sol Way, near Lincoln Avenue.

Along with the manufacturing count, both defendants are charged with causing a fire in an inhabited structure and elder abuse.

After a preliminary hearing on Wednesday at the Riverside Hall of Justice, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Thomas Kelly found there was sufficient evidence to warrant a trial for the pair on all charges and scheduled a post-preliminary hearing arraignment for them on Oct. 25.

Each defendant is free on $85,000 bail.

According to the Riverside Fire Department, the defendants called 911 on the afternoon of Nov. 30, reporting smoke in their kitchen.

Battalion Chief Jeff DeLaurie said that when crews arrived, they encountered flames in the back of the single-family dwelling but quickly gained the upper hand, preventing the blaze from completely consuming the structure.

“As firefighters were providing salvage to the residence, they discovered large amounts of butane cylinders and other paraphernalia that is used to make the illegal drug honey oil,” DeLaurie said.

Investigators alleged one of the butane heaters sparked the fire.

Daniel Elder was taken into custody on the spot. His father was transported to Riverside University Medical Center in Moreno Valley for treatment of minor burns, from which he ultimately recovered.

Riverside Police Officer Ryan Railsback said a total […]    

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