Charges filed in alleged Millcreek hash oil lab explosion

3/24/2014

MILLCREEK, Utah – Criminal charges have been filed against a couple involved in an alleged drug lab explosion in June, that police believe was used to make marijuana extract.

According to Sgt. Melody Gray with the Unified Police Department, the incident occurred near 3300 S. Scott Ct. on June 26.

According to the probable cause statement released by the Unified Police Department (UPD), Unified Fire Authority (UFA) was called to the home on reports of an explosion.

The probable cause statement said that UFA went into the basement to treat two burn victims from the explosion, later identified as Kristen M. Cooper and Akbar Shadalo.

In the basement, UFA personnel found equipment that led them to believe the explosion was caused by a Butane Honey Oil (BHO) lab.

“A BHO lab is a lab where butane is used to extract a more pure form of THC from marijuana plant material,” the probable cause statement said.  “When a BHO lab is operated in an enclosed unventilated area, butane can build up in the space and, if exposed to a flame or other ignition source, can cause a severe explosion like the one that occurred in the room in this case.”

According to the probable cause statement, police obtained a search warrant for the home and discovered that the explosion happened in Cooper’s bedroom. The statement the window of the bedroom was blown out and shattered, and debris from the explosion was scattered 35 feet from the window into the backyard.

Cooper had severe burns on her arms and face and was transported to the hospital following the explosion. Shadalo had less severe, but still serious burns on his hands and face.

During the search of the home, police said they found a baggie that tested positive for marijuana, a pyrex dish that contained a honey-like substance that was “consistent with BHO,” and a butane bottle on the floor.

A warrant was issued Tuesday for the arrest of Cooper and Shadalo.

Both individuals are being charged with clandestine laboratory precursors and/or equipment ehanced, reckless burning, possession or use of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia.