A man suspected of operating an illegal honey oil lab at a Costa Mesa home was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of possessing child pornography, police said.
Wesley Hunter Thomason, 24, of Garden Grove was booked into Orange County Jail with bail set at $500,000, said Costa Mesa police spokeswoman Roxi Fyad.
Authorities said they found child pornography on Thomason’s cellphone after he was arrested on suspicion of starting a fire May 11 in the backyard of a home in the 2200 block of Avalon Street in Costa Mesa.
Costa Mesa police suspect Thomason was operating a butane honey oil lab in a home. Butane honey oil extraction is a volatile process in which gases are heated to extract tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC, from marijuana leaves. THC is the main psychoactive chemical in cannabis.
Jail records list Thomason’s occupation as drug manufacturer.
Fire officials said he was cooking in the backyard, but it isn’t clear what he was making. The official cause of the blaze has not been released.
Thomason suffered burns to his arms in the fire and was taken to Orange County Global Medical Center for treatment. After he was released from the hospital on May 12, police arrested him on suspicion of causing a fire at an inhabited structure and manufacturing a controlled substance.
He was released from county jail the following day after posting bond, according to jail records.
During a search of the Avalon Street residence, authorities seized Thomason’s cellphone, which police allege contained images of child pornography. Police also searched Thomason’s home in Garden Grove and seized additional items that authorities allege contained child pornography, according to Fyad.
The Orange County district attorney’s office has not filed charges against Thomason in the fire or pornography cases, according to Orange County Superior Court records.