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Search warrant leads to multiple arrests and meth lab seizure

Two people were arrested during a search warrant operation in Siskiyou County. Investigators found evidence of a meth lab and a hash oil lab.

Posted: Jul 19, 2019 9:23 PM
Updated: Jul 19, 2019 10:24 PM

YREKA, Calif. -- The Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office (SCSO) said deputies served a search warrant at a home in a rural area southwest of Yreka on Rocky Gulch Road Thursday. It was involved in an arrest and a different search warrant operation a little more than a week prior. Deputies said that was because the main suspect, 53-year-old, David Setzer, threatened people with a gun. That lead to deputies finding stolen guns, a large cache of ammunition, explosive components, a stolen car, and other contraband. Setzer was arrested and  later charged with a multiple crimes, including making criminal threats, possession of stolen property, brandishing a firearm, possession of explosive components, possession of a suppressor (silencer), and assault with a deadly weapon.

Siskiyou County deputies said Thursday's search warrant was focused on additional contraband, including explosive components suspected to be on the property connected to Setzer. Deputies said they potentially posed a public health and safety threat to the people of Siskiyou County. Deputies, with investigators from SCSO’s Siskiyou Interagency Marijuana Investigation Team (SIMIT), SCSO’s Bomb technician, and detectives from the California Department of Justice-led Siskiyou Unified Major Investigations Team (SUMIT), served the search warrant as a multi-agency team. Setzer was detained prior to the search warrant operation to facilitate a safer operation.

The multi-agency team found and seized components of a meth lab recently used inside the kitchen and components of a butane honey oil lab or hash oil lab. Investigators said there was a large amount of glassware and chemicals related to the meth lab. Lab disposal specialists from Butte County, California were asked to come to the scene. That Butte County team was asked to college, store and dispose of the lab components. CAL Fire was also asked to stand-by the scene just in case fire or medical emergency aid were needed.

Investigators also found more explosive components and an illegal marijuana grow. During the search, two men showed up to the Rocky Gulch Road home. 51-year-old Vincent Leslie Bowers was arrested for possession of a hypodermic syringe containing heroin (narcotic) and taken to the Siskiyou County Jail.

A Code Enforcement Officer from the Siskiyou County Planning Department also went to the scene and inspected the site. The Rocky Gulch Road home was sealed with a “Red Tag,” and uninhabitable because of the dangers associated with the drug labs, hazardous components, and other factors.

When the specialist from NRC Environmental Services arrived to dispose of those hazardous materials, investigators say they went through the home thoroughly and removed everything that might have been used to make meth or hash oil, along with anything considered dangerous, volatile, or corrosive. Deputies say those materials and other evidence filled four 55-gallon drums and three 5-gallon buckets. Setzer is in-custody again and charges against him are pending for possession of a methamphetamine lab, possession of a BHO (hash oil) lab, illegal cultivation of marijuana, possession of explosive components, and as a recently-released inmate awaiting criminal charges for his previous crimes, he violated the terms of his previous release.

“This was an impressive team effort by all involved local agencies, drug task forces, specialists, and other public safety partners," added Siskiyou County Sheriff Lopey. "These drug labs are very hazardous and present a significant health, safety, and fire threat to local residents of the area. Butte County lab specialists traveled a great distance, expeditiously, to provide invaluable assistance and support to dispose of the hazardous chemicals and substances at the scene."

Sheriff Lopey said these crimes are still under investigation. If anyone has anymore informatin, he asks that you give the county's 24-hour Dispatch Center a call at (530) 841-2900.

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