3,000 pounds of marijuana seized, drug lab dismantled in Aptos

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Authorities seized a large amount of marijuana and dismantled a potentially hazardous drug lab located in a woodsy residential area of Aptos, according to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies discovered the operation about 11:30 p.m. Thursday, after getting reports of a suspicious vehicle being loaded with bags of marijuana near the 1000 block of Cathedral Drive.

After obtaining a search warrant on Friday, detectives located an extensive butane honey oil operation in a pop-up garage, along with 3,000 pounds of loose marijuana, eight firearms, gun parts and cash. In addition, 25 pounds of processed butane honey oil was found, officials said.

"This was a dangerous drug lab that was set up in a residential neighborhood in a heavily wooded area," Santa Cruz Sheriff Jim Hart said in a news release.

Due to the potential fire hazard of dismantling the lab, a highly trained private company was found to safely dismantle the operation, limiting the risk of fire or explosion, Hart said.

Two Aptos men, ages 24 and 25, have been identified as suspects, but authorities did not release their names.