Steve Brown is facing multiple charges after allegedly sparking an explosion in his Florida home while trying to make a potent form of marijuana, CBS8 News is reporting. On September 3, the Port Richey resident caused his house to catch fire and fled the house with his contraband in tow, leaving a 1-year-old boy and two caged dogs behind.
The house burnt down in the ensuing fire. The 1-year-old boy was saved, but firemen could not retrieve the two caged dogs in time; both animals perished in the fire. Steve Brown, after fleeing the scene, eventually turned himself over to authorities Monday. Police have not released any personal information on the boy because a case of child abuse and neglect is looking highly likely.
At the time of his arrest, a dozen active warrants had been issued for Steve Brown’s arrest. The charges include possession of drug paraphernalia, aggravated cruelty to animals, felonious possession of a firearm, manufacture of marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, possession of cocaine, possession of oxycodone, possession of suboxone, and possession of a place for purposes of manufacturing a controlled substance.
The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office has revealed that Brown was not the only one in the house at the time of the explosion, and they are searching for his accomplices. According to police, the Port Richey residence was totally burnt down. Photographs that were shown to reporters included a picture of the little boy’s nursery with charred walls.
According to Cynthia Bryant, the explosion was heard by many residents in the neighborhood and had people scrambling to pinpoint the source of the explosion.
“We came outside and there was just one truck out here and they were telling us to come out of the house and then we heard the second explosion and it got everybody terrified.”
Kevin Doll of the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said Brown had accidentally set the house on fire during the dangerous marijuana cooking process.
“It’s where how they make marijuana, they cook it down into a waxy form that is more potent and it’s probably easier to package and sell. Something went wrong in the house; the house went up in flames.”
According to the DEA, wax is a strong marijuana concentrate that leads to a stronger and quicker high. A DEA informant said it was the best form of weed, likening it to “smoking 20 joints of the best grade of weed in one hit.” According to him, a single hit could keep a person high for as long as 24 hours.
Marijuana ‘wax’ showing up in St. Lawrence County stronger than normal pot, dangerous to make and easy to hide http://t.co/ZLnN91CrlI— NorthCountryNow.com (@northcountrynow) May 4, 2015
The drug is manufactured by stuffing marijuana into a plastic pipe or glass with a filter at one end. Butane is then used to extract THC from the marijuana. After the wax has been removed from the marijuana, a “dab” is placed into a bong and it is smoked like regular marijuana.
Amateurs have been warned about making marijuana wax because it is not kitchen-friendly. The butane is like lighter fluid, and when it fills a room, it can catch fire with the smallest of sparks.
In June, four teens trying to make manufacture wax in Colorado where rushed to a hospital after the process went awry. The explosion was so strong that it blew out the windows and triggered the sprinkler system of the Steamboat Springs residence. Police said it was nothing short of a miracle that the house did not catch fire and that the boys survived.
In Colorado, wax is legal for anyone over the age of 21. A three-day competition to see who could make the most potent batch of marijuana wax held in Denver recently. Dr. Peter Grossman in California said he had seen more than 20 wax explosions since the beginning of the year and called it an epidemic.
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