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2 arrested after explosion at Riverside apartment uncovers butane honey oil lab: Police

Two people were arrested after an explosion at a Riverside apartment led to the discovery of a butane honey oil lab, police said Thursday.

The 6 a.m. Monday blast in the the 600 block of Central Avenue displaced neighbors as police and firefighters responded to the scene, the Riverside Police Department said in a news release.

Fire investigators determined the cause of the fire was a butane honey oil lab that was set up inside one of the apartments, where they spotted empty butane canisters, hash oil extract and marijuana plants, according to police.

Butane is a flammable and odorless gas used to extract THC from marijuana plants. The process, which produces hash oil, is dangerous because the gas can be easily ignited by the heat from household appliances, police said.

 Riverside Police Department on March 4, 2021 shared this photo of evidence uncovered at a suspected butane honey oil lab after an explosion in Riverside.
Riverside Police Department on March 4, 2021, shared this photo of evidence uncovered at a suspected butane honey oil lab after an explosion in Riverside.

Shortly after the explosion was reported, officers found out a man was brought into an emergency room at a local hospital with severe burn injuries.

Police saw the man at a hospital, as well as a woman who drove him there, and they identified them as residents in the apartment where the blast originated.

The woman, 41-year-old Lisa Marie Twyman, was arrested on suspicion of manufacturing a controlled substance, conspiracy to commit a felony and outstanding misdemeanor warrants. She was being held on $50,000 bail, according to police.

The man, 38, was transferred to a hospital because of his injuries. He will later face charges for his involvement, police said.

In a vehicle nearby, officers found 22-year-old Cutter Mendonca, who police described as being “affiliated with the two suspects and their apartment.”

“Officers learned he was on probation for evading police and had three outstanding felony warrants for his arrest.” police said. “When they searched him, they located a concealed firearm and several small bags containing narcotics packaged for sales.”

Mendonca was arrested for the outstanding warrants, and on suspicion of weapons and drug violations, police said. He was being held on $100,000 bail.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the Narcotics Unit at 951-353-7200. Those who wish to remain anonymous can email [email protected]

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