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Oregon Man Sentenced to 7 Years in Federal Prison for Hash Oil ExplosionSalem-News.com Cannabis De-Classified
BHO (Butane Honey Oil) is a concentrated cannabis product extracted using highly flammable or combustible solvents.
(PORTLAND, Ore.) - Eric Leighton Scully, of Cottage Grove, Oregon, was sentenced June 20th to 78 months in federal prison and five years supervised release for endangering human life and illegally possessing and manufacturing marijuana during a November 2017 butane honey oil (BHO) explosion in Cottage Grove.
Scully was also sentenced to six months in prison for violating the supervised release conditions of a previous federal money laundering conviction. The two prison sentences will run consecutively, for a total of 84 months in prison.
According to court documents, on November 16, 2017, the Cottage Grove Police and Fire Departments responded to an explosion at a storage facility in Cottage Grove. Officers found Scully at a local hospital where he was being treated for serious burn injuries.
Investigators later learned that, at the time of the explosion, at least three other individuals were inside the facility.
“This investigation highlights the significant dangers that these extraction operations pose,” stated Keith Weis, DEA Special Agent in Charge of the Pacific Northwest Region.
He further added, “This explosive event in Cottage Grove’s community was caused by highly reckless criminal activities surrounding butane honey oil (BHO) production, this time we were very lucky that lives were not lost.”
Two days later, Cottage Grove Police and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents executed a search warrant at the storage facility. Inside, they found a large, sophisticated, and unlicensed BHO extraction lab. BHO is a concentrated cannabis product extracted using highly flammable or combustible solvents.
During the search, agents found 1,200 pounds of processed marijuana, 728 marijuana plants and over 80 pounds of marijuana extract. The investigation determined that while manufacturing BHO, one of Scully’s machines, located in a room containing highly combustible materials and equipment, caught fire.
The machine and combustibles exploded, injuring Scully and placing the other individuals present at substantial risk of harm.
At the time of the explosion, Scully was on federal supervision stemming from a money laundering conviction from 2016. In that case, Scully owned and operated a large, illegal marijuana grow in Eugene from 2012 through 2014.
That investigation found that Scully collected over $1,000,000 in proceeds from his illegal business, which fed a luxury lifestyle of high-end cars, watches, jewelry, clothing, real estate, and firearms.
At the time of the search of Scully’s properties in 2015, investigators uncovered over 230 pounds of marijuana, 219 marijuana plants, $179,860 in cash, and numerous high-value items and vehicles.
Scully pleaded guilty to money laundering and served a 90-day prison sentence at the beginning of 2017. While in prison, Scully continued to actively develop his illegal BHO business in Cottage Grove, and expanded the operation while on federal supervision up to the date of the explosion.
During sentencing, Scully was ordered to forfeit the personal property used to facilitate his crimes, which includes a truck, trailer, and over $25,000 in cash. On November 15, 2018, Scully pleaded guilty to one count each of endangering human life and illegally possessing and manufacturing marijuana.
“Manufacturing hash oil is extremely dangerous and poses a grave risk of injury or death to producers and unknowing, innocent victims. Federal authorities will continue targeting BHO producers and the illicit distribution networks providing them with butane gas.
"Together with our local partners, we will put an end to this severe public safety threat,” Oregon’s U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams said in a previous statement.
This case was investigated by DEA and the Cottage Grove Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Gavin W. Bruce, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.
Source: United States Attorney Billy J. Williams, District of Oregon
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