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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Nevada

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 8, 2018

Gardnerville Man Arrested And Indicted For Butane Hash Oil Explosion

RENO, Nev. – A Gardnerville, Nevada, man was arrested and made his initial appearance in federal court today for causing an explosion at his apartment while trying to illegally make butane hash oil, announced U.S. Attorney Dayle Elieson of the District of Nevada.

Adam Fitzgerald-Wermes, 22, is charged with one count of endangering human life while manufacturing a controlled substance. United States District Magistrate Judge Valerie P. Cooke scheduled a jury trial to begin on May 8, 2018.

According to the indictment, on January 14, 2018, Fitzgerald-Wermes allegedly caused an explosion in his kitchen by trying to make butane hash oil containing a high potency of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). The chemical extraction process is dangerous because it involves the use of butane, a highly flammable and odorless gas, to burn parts of marijuana to draw concentrated THC from the plant into a wax-like substance. THC is a psychoactive chemical in marijuana that produces the “high” feeling users seek.

If convicted, the statutory maximum penalty is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

An indictment merely alleges that a crime has been committed, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The case was investigated by the DEA and Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney James Keller is prosecuting the case.

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Updated March 8, 2018