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Police find illegal THC extraction lab inside Apple Valley home

APPLE VALLEY, Calif. ( — Deputies responding to a call for shots heard in Apple Valley discovered an illegal THC lab and seized over 1,700 pounds of processed marijuana and 69 pounds of concentrated marijuana, officials said.

It happened on October 21, 2018, at about 5:30 pm, when deputies responded to the 26100 block of Houston Street in the unincorporated area of Apple Valley.

Apple Valley station deputies arrived at the residence and made contact with the suspect, Andrew Welter, 31.

According to a sheriff’s news release, Welter was believed to have fired several firearms in the backyard of the residence and while searching the home for any other armed individuals, deputies located a large, active THC extraction lab inside the residence.

Investigators from the Sheriff’s Gangs/Narcotics Division-Marijuana Enforcement Team and the Lab Team responded to assist.

“A search warrant was served and nine large, commercially manufactured THC extraction units and eight 35-gallon butane tanks were located,” stated the news release. “These types of extraction units are intended for the commercial extraction of THC in specifically designed facilities with blast proof rooms.”

Illegal THC extraction labs are extremely dangerous and have the potential of exploding and catching fire and can pose serious safety concerns in residential neighborhoods. The labs commonly use highly flammable and/or explosive gases, such as butane, to extract tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component of marijuana, to produce a substance commonly referred to as marijuana wax.

San Bernardino County has an ordinance prohibiting Commercial Cannabis Activity which includes volitile extractions, such as a THC extraction operation, at a residence. Additionally, the suspect did not obtain a business license from the county of San Bernardino, nor did they have a license from the State of California to conduct volitile extractions.

Andrew Welter, of Apple Valley, was booked at the High Desert Detention Center on charges of Manufacturing a Controlled Substance.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is urged to contact the Sheriff’s Gangs/Narcotics Division at (909)387-8400 or Callers wishing to remain anonymous are urged to call the We-tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463) or you may leave information on the We-Tip Hotline at

(Photo courtesy SBSD – Victor Valley Sheriff’s Department)
(Photo courtesy SBSD – Victor Valley Sheriff’s Department)

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