A man accused of running an illegal butane honey oil extraction lab in a house that caught on fire last week was arrested Wednesday for allegedly possessing child pornography, according to the Costa Mesa Police Department.
Police officers investigating the operation seized the cellphone of Wesley Thomason, 24, of Garden Grove. The phone contained multiple images of child pornography, authorities said.
On the night of May 11, Costa Mesa firefighters responded to a blaze in the backyard of a home in the 2200 block of Avalon Street. Authorities said Thomason was cooking in the backyard when the fire began, but it wasn’t clear what he was cooking.
When firefighters arrived, Thomason was in the backyard, with burns on his arms, police said.
Authorities spotted paraphernalia that led them to believe the home was being used for butane honey oil extraction — a volatile process in which gases are heated to extract tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC, from marijuana leaves.
Thomason was taken to a hospital and treated for his burns. He was released from the hospital on May 12 and was subsequently arrested and booked into jail. He was released on bail shortly afterward, authorities said.
Costa Mesa police seized Thomason’s cellphone, which contained the pornographic images, during a search warrant served at the house where the fire occurred.
Additional search warrants were then written for an investigation into the illegal pornographic images. During a search of Thomason’s home in Garden Grove, officers seized additional items that contained child pornography.
Thomason is expected to appear in court Friday, according to Orange County inmate records.