A maintenance employee of a Goleta hotel who was already in custody for drug charges is facing additional charges after a drug lab was found in the boiler room of the hotel Tuesday morning, authorities said.
Around 9 a.m. Tuesday, employees at the hotel, located in the 400 block of Storke Road, found suspicious chemicals in the boiler room. Sheriff’s deputies responded and found a clandestine drug lab. For precaution, hotel guests in the immediate area were relocated to a different area of the building, Kelly Hoover, spokeswoman for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department, said in a news release.
County fire crews responded to assist in handling any fire hazards associated with the lab, however there was no immediate threat to the surrounding area, Ms. Hoover said.
During the course of the investigation, authorities located evidence of a dimethyltryptamine (DMT) lab and requested the Los Angeles Interagency Metropolitan Police Apprehension Crime Task Force (L.A. IMPACT) respond to dismantle the lab. The team spent the day and evening processing the scene, Ms. Hoover said.
The suspect, Aaron Gorzeman, 37, of Oxnard, was already in custody at the Santa Barbara County Jail.
On Saturday, Mr. Gorzeman, who had outstanding warrants for his arrest, was located in the parking lot of the hotel. He was found to be in possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia, Ms. Hoover said.
He has been re-booked for additional charges, including suspicion of drug manufacturing. Mr. Gorzeman is being held on $100,000 bail.
DMT is considered a powerful hallucinogenic drug.
The manufacturing process requires the extraction of chemicals from root bark through the use of highly toxic and flammable chemicals in an extraction vessel over an open flame.
Anyone who suspects this type of illegal activity is occurring is urged to contact law enforcement immediately, Ms. Hoover said.