"Honey oil" operation shut down in Palm Desert

A married Palm Desert couple arrested for running the operation

Palm Desert, Calif. - Two Palm Desert residents are behind bars for allegedly making a dangerous oil out of marijuana plants and also operating a large marijuana growing operation in Yucca Valley. 

The Riverside County Sheriff's Department says that on Wednesday August 13th, the  Coachella Valley Narcotics Task Force served a narcotic related search warrant at a residence located on Brentwood Way, in the city of Palm Desert.

A search of the residence resulted in the discovery of over 100 grams of concentrated cannabis commonly referred to as honey oil with an approximate street value of $8,650.

The also located Pyrex containers, glass cylinders, approximately 40 cans of butane, and other items used to manufacture honey oil.

In addition to finding the dangerous butane honey oil lab, which has been known to catch fire and explode, the task force also seized several hundred marijuana plants, several pounds of harvested cannabis and more than $100,000 in cash.

The city of Palm Desert Code Enforcement responded to the location and served the suspect with a "notice to stop work" in regards to the cultivation of marijuana in the city.

Further investigation revealed the suspect was also growing marijuana at a  residence located in the 2700 block of Julecrest Road, in Yucca Valley.  The Narcotics Task Force served a search warrant at that location and discovered a large scale marijuana grow which contained approximately 300 mature marijuana plants and over 600 immature marijuana plants.

55-year old, Michael Fundiller and 39-year old Rubiela Fundiller, both of Palm Desert were arrested and booked into the Riverside County jail, in Indio for cultivation of marijuana and operating a clandestine lab.

The Coachella Valley Narcotics Task Force also is warning people to know the dangers of honey labs. The extremely explosive honey oil-making process requires using butane gas to turn marijuana into a honey-like substance.  The explosions are a growing side effect of this process.

When butane is expelled into a room, it is odorless and colorless it builds up in the room and it basically becomes a bomb. The act of manufacturing butane hash is a criminal offense.

If anyone has any information regarding any illegal narcotic activity please contact Crime Stoppers at 760-341-STOP, We Tip at 1-800-78-CRIME, or CVNTF Sergeant Schiavone at 760-323-8134.

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