Home robbery probe in Visalia turns up hash-oil operation

A Visalia, Calif.,  man who called police to report that he had been robbed was arrested Tuesday after a hash-oil operation was discovered inside his home, police said.

Guillermo Vasquez, 18, called Visalia police about 12:10 a.m. to report he had been the victim of a home invasion robbery, said Sgt. Ozzie Dominguez of the Visalia Police Department.

Two masked men apparently entered his home, tried to steal money and pistol-whipped him, police said. Vasquez was treated for minor injuries.
As police searched his home in the 1000 block of North Parkwood Court for evidence, they found a small hash oil lab, he said.

Police discovered cocaine, a glass tube containing marijuana and butane cans used for extracting the highly potent oil.

Vasquez was arrested on suspicion of narcotics violations, he said.

"Butane honey oil" is a waxy substance that can produce an even stronger high for users, who can inhale or vaporize the oil without the strong odor of marijuana.

Hash oil has gained popularity among users, prompting some beginners to attempt to make it in their homes. Recent attempts to produce the oil have resulted in explosions throughout the state, officials say.

A similar lab exploded last year at a building in the 300 block of South Dunworth Street in Visalia, police said.

A suspected drug lab at a home in Malibu exploded in April, injuring one person, authorities said.

Two men accused of operating a hash oil extraction laboratory were burned in a similar explosion in March in the City of Commerce.

Although police arrested Vasquez, they will continue to investigate the home invasion robbery, Dominguez said.

"He is still the victim," Dominguez said.

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