Husband, wife arrested following butane hash oil lab explosion in Pueblo

Butane Hash Oil Explosion
Jesucita Gardner (left) and Michael Gardner (right) / Pueblo County Sheriff's Office

PUEBLO, Colo. — A husband and wife were arrested Tuesday morning after a butane hash oil lab exploded in their eastern Pueblo County home.

The homeowner, 41-year-old Michael Scott Gardner, and his wife, 39-year-old Jesucita Gardner, have been booked into the Pueblo County Jail.

Deputies responded to the married couple’s home in the 25000 block of Pleasant View Place around 2 a.m. after they received a call regarding a possible explosion.

Upon arrival, deputies found a refrigerator on the patio destroyed by what appeared to be an explosion. Further examination revealed several small pieces of suspected marijuana in the refrigerator and on the back porch, according to the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities also found several items typically found in a butane hash oil lab – such as four butane canisters, plastic packaging bags and suspected marijuana. Additionally, they found a torn trash bag filled with suspected marijuana plants, broken glass jars and pieces of insulation from the fridge.

Gardner told deputies he thought someone had put a stick of dynamite in his fridge.

Authorities say Gardner later admitted he was making marijuana hash oil in the backyard patio area of his home before the explosion. He told authorities when he finished the manufacturing process around 1 a.m., he placed the product in the freezer and went to sleep. Shortly afterward, Gardner said he heard an explosion in the backyard. When he went outside, he noticed the fridge was destroyed.

Gardner said he then called 911 and began to clean the area.

Additionally, Gardner told authorities his 39-year-old wife Jesucita Gardner, helped him load some of the marijuana and glass remnants from the explosion and put them in her car. She then drove away from the home, but was stopped a short while later by deputies and detained.

Michael Gardner was arrested for unlawful extraction of marijuana concentrate, possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, possession with intent to distribute marijuana concentrate, tampering with evidence and reckless endangerment.

Jesucita Gardner was arrested for unlawful extraction of marijuana concentrate.

No injuries were reported.

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