Five Rhode Island men charged in regards of Butane Lab Operations

By: Autumn R. Hawkins

Five Rhode Island men are being charged in federal court due to property damage and at least one death associated with explosions and fires in BHO labs.

The individuals have no relation between defendants or the cases other than allegations that the four labs manufactured hash oil marijuana using butane according to United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha.

On July 31, 2015 a fire and explosions in and around a BHO lab caused property damage to a single family home in South Kingston where two individuals were seriously injured.

Dillon Kantlehner, 26, of Providence and another individual who later died from injuries from the explosions and fire, used the kitchen area to operate a BHO lab.

Investigators seized more than 500 grams of BHO and over 9,000 grams of marijuana from the home, as well as 72 butane canisters, some empty and full.

On March 9, 2015, a fire destroyed an 85,000 square foot warehouse on Kinsley Avenue in Providence.

Christopher White, 50, of Warwick, and Graeme Marshall, 50, of Cranston, leased the warehouse where their business sold equipment and supplies for marijuana cultivation.

White and Marshall are charged with nine counts of endangering human life while illegally manufacturing a controlled substance, one count of conspiracy, seven counts of distribution of a controlled substance, and five counts of money laundering.

On November 27, 2015, a fire occurred in a multi-unit apartment on Apache Drive in Westerly where investigators discovered a BHO lab. It is alleged that one of the residents was administering a butane hash oil manufacturing operation.

Scott Slagel, 41, was charged with endangering human life while illegally manufacturing a controlled substance. Slagel is scheduled to be arraigned in U.S. District Court on April 5, 2016.

On July 16, 2015, West Warwick Police and federal law agents were authorized a search warrant inside a building on Providence Street, which contains residential and commercial units.

In an apartment leased by Tyler Crespo, 21, law enforcement discovered a full-scale butane hash oil manufacturing laboratory. Investigators took over 6,000 grams of butane hash oil and nearly $14,000 in cash.

Crespo is being charged with one count of endangering human life while illegally manufacturing a controlled substance and one count of the manufacture of a controlled substance.

A federal warrant has been issued for Crespo.

The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Sandra R. Herbert, Paul F. Daly, Jr., and Richard B. Myrus.

© WLNE-TV 2016