Drug explosion case goes to federal court
A Gardnerville man who allegedly set himself on fire while trying to make butane hash oil is facing federal charges.
Adam Fitzgerald-Wermes, 22, is charged with one count of endangering human life while manufacturing a controlled substance.
He made his first appearnce in federal court last week, according to U.S. Attorney Dayle Elieson. A jury trial was set.
According to the indictment, on Jan. 14, Fitzgerald-Wermes is accused of setting off an explosion in his kitchen by trying to make butane hash oil containing a high potency of tetrahydrocannabinol.
The chemical extraction process is dangerous because it involves the use of butane, a highly flammable and colorless, odorless gas to burn parts of marijuana to draw concentrated THC from the plant into a wax like substance.
THC is a psychoactive chemical in marijuana that produces the “high” feeling users seek.
An indictment merely alleges that a crime has been committed, and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The case was investigated by the DEA and Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Street Enforcement Team.