A man and a woman remained in custody Friday after law enforcement officers discovered a hash lab and a wide variety of illegal drugs in their Garberville motel room during a bust on Thursday.
Lt. Bryan Quenell, commander of the Humboldt County Drug Task Force, said Friday that the butane honey oil hash lab, located at the Lone Pine Motel, posed a possible danger to other guests.
“There is definitely a potential when you’re using the butane hash extraction method of a flash fire or an explosion,” remarked Quenell. He added that while finding a hash lab in general is not unusual — at least not in Southern Humboldt — “to find one in a motel room is pretty rare.”
Also atypical, he said, is the sheer variety of narcotics that Jason Eugene Rice, 44, and Xenia Mitchell Reilly, 33, are accused of dealing from the motel.
“The thing that struck me was the quantity and the different types of drugs,” Quenell commented. “Rarely do we see a retail [narcotics] business that has a little bit of everything.”
According to a press release, the illegal substances seized by officers with the drug task force, along with Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office deputies and agents of the U.S. Marshal’s Office, included the following: Some 229 grams of heroin; 11 grams of cocaine; nearly 11 grams of methamphetamine; over 3 grams of psilocybin mushrooms; 15 hydrocodone pills; 43 oxycodone pills; seven diazepam pills; three alprazolam pills; five ecstasy pills; 446 grams of concentrated cannabis, or hash; and 28 pounds of marijuana.
“Agents also located a handgun, [a] shotgun, packaging material and other indications [that] the narcotics” were in the motel room in order to be sold, the release went on, adding that $7,817 “in U.S. currency was seized as suspected proceeds from narcotics sales.”
Rice and Reilly were arrested and booked on a number of charges, including criminal conspiracy, possession of controlled substances and of narcotics for sale, and “maintaining a residence for the purpose of distributing narcotics.”
Given that the pair “both have felony convictions on their records,” according to Quenell, they were also charged with being felons in possession of firearms.
Quenell said that Thursday’s bust arose out of a complaint that was received.
While he said he didn’t know how long Rice and Reilly had been staying in the motel room where they were arrested, he did say that they had been under investigation for a while and that “they were staying in another room at the motel at one point.”
Contacted by telephone Friday, a man who identified himself as the Lone Pine’s owner said that the drug bust and the uncovering of a hash lab came as a surprise.
“We didn’t suspect anything. If we had suspected, we would have kicked them out.”
The owner, who said he would provide his name only if asked in person, said that neither Rice nor Reilly were registered guests. “Someone else paid for the motel room and was registered,” he explained. “Sometimes only one person is registered but there are three people in the room. We don’t keep records of [the] other people.”
“We don’t have sheriff’s [deputies] around here always,” he went on, explaining that there have been occasions when guests or their acquaintances have damaged property and broken windows at his motel. “I feel helpless. If someone give me the money, maybe I sell it off and go.”