Shatter made using "BHO" butane hash oil extraction. (Joe Amon, Denver Post file)

Man who blamed explosion on dynamite in fridge arrested on suspicion of making hash oil

Investigators say a man who blamed an explosion at his Pueblo County home Tuesday on someone putting a stick of dynamite in his refrigerator was arrested after deputies discovered evidence the blast was caused by hash oil production.

Michael Scott Gardner, 41, and his wife, 39-year-old Jesucita Gardner, were arrested on suspicion of unlawful extraction of marijuana concentrate. Michael Gardner is also accused of possession of marijuana concentrate with intent to distribute, tampering with evidence and reckless endangerment.

The Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office was called to the couple’s home on the 25000 block of Pleasant View Drive at about 2 a.m. on reports of an explosion. Deputies found a refrigerator on the home’s patio area that appeared to be destroyed by a blast.

“In further examining the refrigerator, deputies saw several small pieces of suspected marijuana in the refrigerator and on the back porch,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release. “Gardner … told deputies he thought someone had put a stick of dynamite in his refrigerator.”

Authorities searched the home, according to the news release, and found “items typically found in a butane hash oil lab to include four butane canisters, plastic packaging bags and suspected marijuana. Deputies also found a torn trash bag filled with suspected marijuana plants, broken glass jars and pieces of insulation from the refrigerator.”

Michael Gardner eventually admitted that he was making hash oil in his backyard before the explosion, the statement said, and that he placed the final product in the freezer portion of the refrigerator about 1 a.m. before he went to bed.

“Shortly after, Gardner said he heard an explosion in the backyard,” the new release said. “He said he went to check to see what it was, when he noticed the refrigerator was destroyed. Gardner said he called 911.”

The pair were booked into the Pueblo County jail.

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