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Sheriff: 2 arrested after fire at California drug lab

  • Updated

ADELANTO, Calif. (AP) — Authorities arrested two people in connection with a large fire at an illegal Southern California drug lab, officials said Thursday.

The blaze was reported around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at a commercial building in the city of Adelanto, about 85 miles (137 kilometers) northeast of Los Angeles in the Mojave Desert.

The building was completely engulfed in flames, and nearby homes and businesses had to be evacuated, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

Investigators later found evidence of a butane extraction lab and a large quantity of processed and concentrated cannabis, as well as two ghost guns.

The cause of the fire was not immediately released but in such illegal labs — sometimes known as honey oil labs — people extract the high-inducing chemical THC from cannabis plants to create a highly potent concentrate known as hash oil or honey oil. The extraction process is dangerous and often involves butane, an odorless gas that easily ignites.

The oil can be used in vape pens, edibles, waxes and other products.

Peng Wei, 41, and Jing Wei Ping, 39, were arrested on two health and safety code offenses, possession of cannabis for sale and manufacturing a controlled substance. It was not immediately known whether they had lawyers who could speak on their behalf.

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