Cottage Grove man pleads guilty to drug charges a year after explosion

Cottage Grove’s police and fire departments responded to an explosion at a storage facility Nov. 16, 2017, according to court documents.

Posted: Nov 15, 2018 3:49 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- A Cottage Grove man pleaded guilty Thursday to federal drug charges after a hash oil lab explosion last year.

Eric L. Scully, 35, was charged with endangering human life and illegally possessing and manufacturing marijuana, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

"Manufacturing hash oil is extremely dangerous and poses a grave risk of injury or death to producers and unknowing, innocent victims,” said Billy J. Williams, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

Cottage Grove’s police and fire departments responded to an explosion at a storage facility Nov. 16, 2017, according to court documents. Officers found Scully at a local hospital being treated for burn injuries.

Police and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents searched the storage facility and found a large, sophisticated and unlicensed butane hash oil extraction lab. BHO is a concentrated form of marijuana.

Agents found more than 1,900 pounds of marijuana, 728 marijuana plants and more than 80 pounds of marijuana extract.

While manufacturing BHO, one of Scully’s machines was located in a room with combustibles and caught fire, causing the explosion.

Investigators said three other individuals were inside the facility at the time of the explosion.

Scully faces up to 40 years in prison with a five-year mandatory minimum sentence, $5 million fine and four-year term of supervised release.

As part of his plea agreement, Scully will play restitution to each victim and will forfeit $25,980 in criminal proceeds, as well as a pickup truck and trailer used in the crimes.

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