Public Safety

Posted on: September 1, 2016

Seven Month Investigation Leads to Arrest of Suspect from January Explosion

Fire Police Press Release.jpg

ANAHEIM, CA – Late Wednesday evening, Investigators from the Anaheim Police Department concluded a seven month investigation into a Butane Honey Oil lab explosion which occurred in the 2000 block of W. Blue Violet Ct. earlier this year. The investigation culminated with the arrest of the suspect and the seizure of a second Butane Honey Oil lab.

Frederic John Mercado Tabora, a 32 year old resident of Huntington Beach, was arrested without incident Wednesday evening as he exited a Motel 6 in Westminster. Investigators then served a search warrant at Tabora’s residence in the 6100 block of Kelley Cir in Huntington Beach, where they discovered another Butane Honey Oil lab. Tabora was booked at the Anaheim Detention Facility on one felony count of unlawfully causing a fire, two felony counts of unlawful chemical extraction and a felony enhancement of doing so within 300 feet of an occupied residence. He is being held on $75,000 bail.

At approximately 11:40 p.m. on January 20, 2016, Anaheim Fire & Rescue received multiple calls of a garage fire in the 2000 block of W. Blue Violet Ct. Upon arrival, fire personnel found the garage of a two story detached condominium was fully involved and the fire had spread to the living quarters of the structure. Fire investigators found evidence the condo was being used as an indoor marijuana grow as well as a sophisticated THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) extraction site, commonly known as a Butane Honey Oil extraction (BHO). The cause of the fire was directly attributed to an explosion as a result of the illegal extraction. Damage was estimated to be in excess of $450,000.

BHO extraction is a volatile and dangerous process in which explosive gases are heated in an effort to extract the THC from the cannabis leaves. BHO labs have been on the rise in California over the past several years and are a serious threat to public safety, so much so that Governor Brown signed SB 212 into law on August 7, 2015. This bill went into effect January 1, 2016 and makes it an aggravated felony to manufacture hash oil within 300 feet of an occupied residence or structure.

We continue to ask the public to report suspicious activity to local law enforcement. Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (855) TIP-OCCS, or by email at Information leading to an arrest and conviction may result in a reward up to $1000.

Booking photo shown below:

Arrest photo of Frederic John Mercado

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