Snapping turtle inside vehicle uninjured
A New York man was arrested early Wednesday after a suspected clandestine drug lab exploded in the 6500 block of Camino Venturoso in Goleta, authorities said.
At approximately 3 a.m., sheriff’s deputies responded to the area on a reported suspicious subject parked in a vehicle. Upon arrival, deputies learned there had been an explosion involving one of the suspect’s vehicles which sent debris more than 40 feet to each side, Sgt. Jeremy Rogers, spokesman for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department, said in a news release.
A parked car nearby sustained minor damage in the explosion, Sgt. Rogers said.
The suspect, James Girona, 43, was located on scene and treated for minor injuries. Further investigation revealed Mr. Girona had been operating a butane honey oil lab which sparked the explosion, Sgt. Rogers said.
“A search of the suspect’s vehicle yielded several items related to the alleged crime, as well as a live alligator snapping turtle Girona had brought with him from New York,” Sgt. Rogers aid.
The turtle was not injured and has been released to a local animal shelter, he said.
Mr. Girona was arrested on charges related to manufacturing a controlled substance, a felony. His bail is set at $75,000.
“The Sheriff’s Office wants to take this opportunity to remind community members that not only is the process of chemically extracting oils from cannabis illegal, it is also extremely dangerous,” Sgt. Rogers said. “In this case, it put not only Girona at risk, btu those in the surrounding residences as well. We encourage community members to report any activities potentially involving marijuana cultivation or extraction in a residential area.”
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