Ventura – While the Television Academy of Arts & Sciences over recent years has bestowed multiple Emmy Awards on those writers, producers, directors, and actors contributing to the phenomenal success of AMC’s “Breaking Bad”, the programming intent of the show was always to entertain, and neither to instruct nor inspire. The character of “Walter White” managed to evolve throughout the series from a man to be pitied, to an entrepreneur to be admired, to a criminal to be feared…and finally to a victim of his own narcissistic excess.
The societal impact of such a character and the TV shows that portray the “glory” of trading in illegal drugs continues to become manifest, and may very well have been a contributing factor in the arrest on October 29th of Ventura resident Rudy Rico, 30.
According to Oxnard Police Department Sgt. Charles Woodruff, his agency, working in concert with detectives of the West Ventura County Narcotics Task Force over recent weeks came to believe that an active drug operation was ongoing at a residence on Valmore Drive in the city of Ventura. Their investigation indicated that “a resident at this location was suspected of having a concentrated cannabis ‘honey oil’ extraction lab” in full operation.
Pursuant to that information, detectives served a search warrant upon the premises—unoccupied at the time of their arrival—and became aware of “indications of an extraction lab” within the home. Supporting their suspicions was the discovery of two ounces of marijuana extract and one full pound of marijuana, at which time the City of Ventura Fire Department was summoned to secure the premises from the standpoint of potential fire or explosion hazards. “These types of processes use flammable gas to extract the THC from the marijuana,” Woodruff reported, “and if done in a confined area can be extremely dangerous.”
Detectives also found three young children and their mother living in the house in close proximity to the ‘honey oil’ operation, whereupon the minors were taken into protective custody by Ventura County Child Services.
Shortly thereafter, Rico was contacted outside the residence and was promptly provided transportation to Ventura County Jail where he was booked on charges of operating a marijuana extraction lab, possession of marijuana for sales, and child endangerment.
Hardly a fitting final act for any would-be “Walter White”.
Photo: Courtesy Ventura County Jail Booking
EDHAT: Marijuana extraction lab