Authorities Thursday shut down an illegal honey oil lab in Indio while investigating unrelated fraud that allegedly occurred in Rancho Mirage, sheriff’s officials said.
Deputies served a search warrant at a house in the 81000 block of Iris Court in Indio at 9:45 a.m., according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
At the residence, investigators seized evidence connected to the original fraud investigation and discovered a suspected honey oil lab.
Honey oil, also known as hash oil, is a concentrated substance derived from marijuana plants. Butane, a flammable gas, is often used to make honey oil, making it extremely dangerous.
Indio residents Kelly Barnes, 41, and George Garcia, 43, were arrested at the house on suspicion of child endangerment and of operating a butane honey oil lab, sheriff’s officials said.
The exact nature of the fraud investigation was not revealed by the sheriff’s department.
According to court records, Barnes was charged last year with 51 felony and misdemeanor counts that include various forgery, identity theft and other charges.
Barnes is currently out of custody on $28,000 bail in that case, and is scheduled to return to court for a felony settlement conference Friday.
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