On July 22, the federal government initiated “Operation Shattered” with the stated intention of cracking down on individuals involved in causing butane hash oil-related explosions in Washington State.
As part of Operation Shattered, the feds charged eight individuals in connection with BHO explosions in the Washington cities of Bellevue, Kirkland, Puyallup and Seattle. The extent to which the feds will crack down on BHO manufacturing that has not resulted in explosions is unknown.
However, according to Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist, via a Department of Justice press release, “Home-based manufacturing of THC remains illegal under state law, even with the passage of Initiative 502 (the voter-approved measure that legalized recreational pot in Washington in November 2012).” Lindquist confirmed that his office would work with the feds in carrying out Operation Shattered.
Less than a week after launching the operation, local law enforcement raided the residence of professional Washington BHO manufacturers who have safely produced concentrates for patients on a regular basis.
At 4:00 am on July 28, King County law enforcement agents raided the Maple Valley residence of Debbie Belcher and Josh Mauk, who operate “Home Blown Concentrates.”
Home Blown products are created exclusively for medical marijuana patients, not for recreational use. Belcher and Mauk only produced BHO outdoors via a closed loop system – a safer extraction method as BHO explosions are generally triggered by improper butane ventilation.
As reported by The Northwest Leaf, the couple was taken into custody, charged with suspicion of manufacturing a controlled substance and reckless endangerment. Belcher and Mauk were reportedly released on July 29 after appearing in court earlier in the day.