DENVER - Three people have been charged in a hash oil explosion that badly burned them earlier this year.
The Denver District Attorney's Office on Thursday announced charges against Matthew Ackerman, 24, his girlfriend, Danielle Cordova, who turns 21 on Sunday, and Paul Mannaioni , 24.
They are each charged with processing or manufacturing marijuana concentrate, a class-3 felony.
The charges allege that the three were taking part in an illegal hash oil extraction process on April 23, in a tent behind the warehouse at 1241 South Lipan Street, when there was an explosion.
The explosion injured the three, who suffered severe burns to their arms, legs and bodies.
Responding firefighters soon found a large marijuana grow operation, with more than 100 plants, that did not appear to be properly licensed, according to court records. They saw numerous burners actively cooking marijuana in pressure-cooker type pots and several boxes containing butane.
Although it is legal to make hash oil if you have a Medical Infused Product (MIP) license, the operation did not appear to have the required permits from either the City of Denver or the State Marijuana Enforcement Division, according to an arrest affidavit.
The trio have not been charged in connection to the grow operation, just the hash oil extraction, Kimbrough explained.
When the explosion occurred, a witness said he saw six to eight men and a woman flee. Everyone jumped in their cars and fled, except for Ackerman, Cordova and Mannaioni, who stayed behind because they were badly burned and were waiting for ambulances, witnesses said.
Ackerman, Cordova and Mannaioni have all been released from custody on bond and are due in Denver County Court to be formally advised of their charges later this month.
An attorney for the property manager told investigators that the warehouse was a co-op for growing marijuana, and provided three patient/providers recommendations to cover 225 plants. The property manager did not know about the butane hash oil extractions, the attorney said.