Investigators find evidence of hash oil lab in one of two residences searched.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Justin Paul HamiltonAfter an investigation into the distribution of heroin and methamphetamine, the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team executed a search warrant last week, at Crooked River Ranch, and arrested two men.

On Nov. 15, at 10:38 pm the CODE team executed a search warrant at 6333 SW Buckskin Lane, which has two separate residences occupied by independent individuals. The team only had authorization to search the residence occupied by Justin Paul Hamilton, 41.

The team found Hamilton in the target residence and detained him without incident. Investigators found a small amount of methamphetamine and heroin, digital scales, and currency.

Additionally, they seized a handgun, since Hamilton is a convicted felon and is not legally allowed to possess firearms.

Brandon Matthew Darrow, 30, of Redmond, arrived at the residence during the search and was ultimately placed under arrest for frequenting a place where controlled substances were being used. Investigators also found a user amount of heroin on his person.

As the search continued, investigators learned the neighboring residence at the same address had a butane hash oil lab, along with a significant unlawful amount of marijuana. A search warrant was obtained and executed at the second residence at about 2:35 a.m. on Nov. 16.

During the second search, investigators encountered a female, identified as Kailey Berg, hiding in the residence. They also found components and equipment for operating a butane hash oil lab. In addition, investigators seized approximately 105 pounds of marijuana.

Both Hamilton and Darrow were transported to the Jefferson County Correctional Facility, where Hamilton was charged with unlawful possession and delivery of heroin and methamphetamine, felon in possession of a firearm and frequenting a place where controlled substances are used.

Darrow was cited for unlawful possession of heroin and frequenting a place where controlled substances are used, and released from the jail. No action was taken against Berg, whose criminal involvement was referred to the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office for consideration.

The investigation, specifically involving the hash oil lab, is ongoing, according to Lt. Nick Parker, of the CODE Team. "The suspect(s) responsible for the lab have been identified and it is anticipated charges will be forthcoming. At this time, no further details are being offered."

"Hash oil," also known as "honey oil," is derived from marijuana. The "hash" or "honey" is concentrated THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

"Hash oil is manufactured by utilizing highly flammable materials, such as butane, to refine and concentrate the THC, making a product which can range upwards to 90 percent THC content," said Parker. "Today's marijuana sold in recreational and medical dispensaries typically have THC content ranging from 15 percent to 20 percent, and some as high as 30 percent."

"There has been a dramatic increase in the number of marijuana BHO lab explosions in Oregon in recent years," he said, noting that Oregon State Police has re-formed several clandestine lab response teams. "The last time these teams were being utilized was during the home methamphetamine manufacturing boom of the late 1990s and early 2000s."

The CODE team is a multijurisdictional narcotics task force supported by the Oregon-Idaho High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program and Central Oregon law enforcement agencies.

The agencies include Madras, Warm Springs, Bend, Redmond, Prineville, Black Butte and Sunriver police departments, Jefferson, Deschutes and Crook County sheriffs' offices, Oregon State Police, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Jefferson, Deschutes, and Crook County district attorneys' offices, and the Oregon National Guard.

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