Sheriff's Office investigating extraction lab explosion in Willits


WILLITS, Calif. - On Tuesday, September 12, around 1:40 p.m., Mendocino County Sheriff Deputies were called out to assist the Little Lake Fire Department who were responding to a reported explosion in the 500 block of Cropley Lane in Willits, according to officials.

At first, deputies and fire personnel found a 30,000 square foot industrial metal sided building that did not appear to be on fire. After a closer look, officials noticed the building had a large hole in the roof which was caused by an unknown projectile being expelled during a witnessed explosion inside of the building.

There were no occupants found in the building.

Deputies say they noticed the building had a highly sophisticated marijuana extraction lab, as well as several greenhouses on the property which contained several hundred growing marijuana plants.

Officials said initial scene investigations showed a cannabis growing permit had been issued in connection with the property by the Mendocino County Agriculture Department. However, due to the presence of the marijuana extraction lab, the Mendocino County Major Crimes Taskforce was called and assumed investigative control of the incident.

No arrests have been made in connection with the incident and the investigation is on-going.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident can call the Mendocino Sheriff's Office Tip-Line at 707-234-2100.

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