Experts: honey oil production on the rise

REDDING, Calif. - A man drug agents said was making honey oil in a Redding motel room is currently in intensive care at UC Davis.

Agents said 28-year-old Daniel James Ogram suffered third degree burns to 67 percent of his body after an explosion at the Howard Johnson Express Friday night.

An undercover agent from the Shasta Interagency Narcotics Task Force said Ogram was making butane honey oil in the bathroom of a room at the motel on Bechelli Lane when the explosion happened.

What exactly sparked the explosion is unknown but the agent said the danger comes when the butane gets into the air, trapping it in a small area.

In making honey oil the leafy, leftover portion of marijuana, sometimes known as shake is combined with butane gas.

The tiniest electrical glitch or flick of a lighter can cause major damage.

Honey oil gets it's user high with a very small concentrated amount, it's relatively inexpensive to produce and the demand is high.

Also, if a maker chooses to sell it they can reap big profits.

However a slip up in production can cause major damage.

The damage was evident Friday night as glass was blown out of the windows of the motel, spraying it all the way across the parking lot.

"Anything with a fan, whatever it is that causes a small spark they don't think of," said the SINTF agent.

Cases of explosions are on the rise.

"We've seen six of them in the last 18 months with traumatic injury," remarked the agent.

Selling honey oil is illegal and carries the same criminal charge as producing methamphetamine; manufacturing a controlled substance.

"Anything that uses a solvent such as Butane or Acetone is not lawful," said Jamie Kerr, with the 530 Collective in the City of Shasta Lake.

"It's not something that we here consider to be medicinal," continued Kerr. "The demand is huge. Not a day goes by where we get asked if it's something we carry."

The 530 Collective doesn't sell honey oil but the demand on the black market exists.

SINTF agents said it's important to get the message about the dangers out.

"I want the public to know that it's dangerous and not to do it. It's not worth the risk putting their family, their friends and their loved ones through."

Also arrested following the explosion was 27-year-old Amanda Hepler.

Redding Police said the night of the incident she was in the same room as Ogram with her three children, said to still be in diapers. Following the explosion she fled the scene.

She was arrested on Saturday at a Redding mobile home park for an outstanding burglary warrant.

Her children were taken into protective custody.

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