Gardnerville man indicted for butane hash explosion

RENO – A Gardnerville man was arrested and made his initial appearance in federal court on Thursday for causing an explosion at his apartment while trying to illegally make butane hash oil, announced U.S. Attorney Dayle Elieson of the District of Nevada.

Adam Fitzgerald-Wermes, 22, was arrested on suspicion of one count of endangering human life while manufacturing a controlled substance. United States District Magistrate Judge Valerie P. Cooke scheduled a jury trial to begin on May 8.

According to the indictment, on January 14, Fitzgerald-Wermes allegedly caused an explosion in his kitchen by trying to make butane hash oil containing a high potency of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). The chemical extraction process is dangerous because it involves the use of butane, a highly flammable and 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.

If convicted, the statutory maximum penalty is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The case was investigated by the DEA and Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney James Keller is prosecuting the case.


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