Anaheim PD arrests suspect in Butane Honey Oil explosion that damaged condo in January


Anaheim Police late Wednesday arrested a Huntington Beach man in connection to a Butane Honey Oil explosion that occurred in January.

On Aug. 31, police arrested Frederic John Mercardo Tabora, 32, without incident as he was leaving a Motel 6 in Westminster.

When searching Tabora’s residence in the 6100 block of Kelley Circle in Huntington Beach, police discovered another Butane Honey Oil lab.

Tabora was arrested on suspicion of unlawfully causing a fire, two felony counts of unlawful chemical extraction, along with an enhancement of doing so within 300 feet of an occupied residence.

John Mercardo Tabora. APD booking photo

Frederic John Mercardo Tabora. APD booking photo

He was booked into the Anaheim Detention Facility and is being held on $75,000 bail.

At 11:40 p.m. Jan. 20, Anaheim Fire & Rescue responded to several calls of a garage fire in the 2000 block of West Blue Violet Court.

When they arrived, firefighters found the garage of a two-story detached condominium fully engulfed in flames, with the fire spreading to the living section of the structure.

Fire investigators found evidence that the condo was being used to grow marijuana indoors and as a sophisticated THC extraction site. The process is commonly known as Butane Honey Oil extraction (BHO).

The illegal extraction was the direct cause of the explosion that caused the fire, authorities said.

Damage was estimated to be more than $450,000.

“BHO extraction is a volatile and dangerous process in which explosive gases are heated in an effort to extract the THC from the cannabis leaves,” said Sgt. Daron Wyatt, APD spokesman. “BHO labs have been on the rise in California over the past several years and are a serious threat to public safety.”

In January, a state law went into effect making it an aggravated felony to manufacture hash oil within 300 feet of an occupied residence or structure.

Anyone with more information on this case is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 855-TIP-OCCS (855-847-6227), or by email at Information leading to an arrest and conviction may result in a reward up to $1,000.