VAIL, Colo. (CBS4) – A Vail man has been arrested after investigators from the Vail Police Department and the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office followed up on an anonymous tip from members of the community related to the production of butane hash oil in the Intermountain neighborhood of Vail.
Butane hash oil is a method of extracting concentrated THC, the psychoactive drug in marijuana. The process is known to be highly volatile and has resulted in two previous explosions in Eagle County since the legalization of recreational marijuana.
RELATED STORIES: Marijuana Legalization Story Archive
The production of butane hash oil is a Level 2 drug felony.
Upon investigation a search warrant was obtained for the West Vail residence. Inside the home a butane hash oil lab was discovered and safely taken down.
The manufacturer of the lab, Mark Anthony Petrina, 28, a Vail resident, was arrested at his place of work, Native Roots marijuana dispensary in Eagle-Vail, where he was a manager. Native Roots said when they learned of his arrest he was fired on the spot.
“When you’ve got people who work at a dispensary who are suspects and now facing charges regarding cooking up of hash oil, this explosive process, we’ve got to look seriously look at whether or not there’s the connection,” District Attorney Bruce Brown said. “If there’s a connection our goal is going to be to shut down those dispensaries.”
Brown said he’s supported marijuana legalization in the past, but now he fears drug dealers are taking advantage of the system.
Petrina was charged with extraction of marijuana concentrate and offenses relating to marijuana. He was released from jail on a $15,000 bond. He’s expected to appear in court in the coming weeks.
Statement From Native Roots
Native Roots had no knowledge or awareness of any of the actions that gave rise to the charges against Mr. Petrina and promptly terminated him upon his arrest, based on the seriousness of the charges. We operate in an industry in which compliance is absolutely paramount. We strictly adhere to all state and local regulations and have safeguards against any theft as well as strong inventory trackers in place.
We are not aware of any pending investigation other that which is related to the arrest of the former employee and have complied with any requests the arresting officers have made regarding the case against Mr. Petrina. We’re confident that if the DA pursues investigations into Native Roots, we will be found to be an entirely legal and compliant enterprise.
– Tia Mattson