Public Safety

Honey Oil Lab Discovery Latest in Growing Trend

The arrest last week of an East County man on suspicion of manufacturing honey oil is the latest incident involving the dangerous process, which remains a growing challenge for local law enforcement.

The use of butane to extract THC from marijuana and create the highly potent drug has resulted in explosions or fires. The video above shows multiple agencies training last year to deal with the threat by staging a controlled blast.

The making of honey oil continues to increase and is a major concern to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, said Lt. Christina Bavencoff, who is assigned to the Narcotic Task Force. 

In the latest case, a deputy on patrol on April 22 noticed a single extension cord leading onto a large property in the 1200 block of Harbison Canyon Road in unincorporated El Cajon. The deputy could see what turned out to be portable marijuana drying rooms and a large greenhouse next to an RV. The deputy called for narcotics detectives, but the suspect, William Cody Leck, 29, arrived back at the property and admitted to the deputy that he had a large cultivation and harvest on the property as well as materials to produce honey oil.

Leck consented to a search of the property which yielded 60 marijuana plants, nearly 100 pounds of processed marijuana and a complete butane honey oil lab and six cases of unused butane, the Sheriff’s Department reported.

Yvette Urrea Moe is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact