Man Held to Answer on Bulk of Drug Charges

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by Tiffany Yeh

Defendant Jesse Austin Renno is charged with the manufacturing of a controlled substance, felony child endangerment, misdemeanor possession of meth, and misdemeanor possession of controlled substances and paraphernalia. Deputy DA Robin Johnson withdrew the charge of misdemeanor possession of stolen property at the beginning of the preliminary hearing.

A visiting judge heard the preliminary hearing. Deputy Public Defender Martha Sequeira is representing the defendant.

The prosecution’s witness was Detective Jason Winger of the West Sacramento Police Dept. He is a sergeant supervisor of the Special Investigations Unit—the Narcotics Unit, specifically.

On February 16, 2017, Detective/Sgt. Winger was part of a search of a residence in Yolo County—specifically the garage and the exterior of the garage. The detective wrote a report afterwards. For the purposes of the preliminary hearing, Ms. Sequeira stipulated that the defendant, wife, and two minor kids lived in the residence.

On that date, Mr. Renno’s infant child (approximately six months old) was in the house at the time.

Det. Winger saw these items in the garage of the residence: an evaporation-type oven against the north wall of the garage; an electric pump; two glass beakers (each approximately 1000 mL in size) with liquid or other type of residue on it; one of the two beakers had a funnel with a coffee filter-like thing in it; a Pyrex dish with yellow/amber colored residue; and a Mason jar without a lid that was less than half full of yellow/brown liquid (maybe a two-quart jar). The liquid in the Mason jar had an odor of marijuana and butane.

Det. Winger stated that the liquid in the jar was consistent with that seen in butane honey oil extractions.

In addition, in the garage, Det. Winger also saw two large bags of marijuana shake (bulb marijuana with no marijuana buds on it) and at least one scale with marijuana residue on it, and methamphetamine in a bag.

He described a butane honey oil lab as a method of extracting THC (concentrated marijuana) through the use of butane. Types of methods for drying out the liquid substance are evaporation in a dish or by using an oven. The solvent (butane in this case) evaporates from the area.

Inside a toolbox, there was a bag of marijuana buds that weighed approximately 16 grams.

The pump is used to extract and pull the butane through extraction and is used to speed up the process. At least two large sifting-type screens were inside the garage, used to extract small seeds.

Outside the residence’s garage, five extraction vessels made out of PVC-type pipes were there. He stated that the ones seen here were “larger, homemade” version of the vessels. He described them as each being approximately 1.5 inches wide PVC pipes with end caps. Sgt. Winger stated that you can put marijuana into the pipe, filter it and put butane through another end of the pipe, and THC (concentrated marijuana) comes out. The marijuana turns into a brown color after the process.

Marijuana appeared to be in one end cap of at least one of the PVC pipes (the marijuana was green).

Approximately three (and up to five) butane canisters were outside the garage. Det. Winger stated that he picked up one of the butane canisters and it appeared not to have butane in it. He did not pick up the rest of the canisters to check.

The garage is connected to the rest of the house by a door, and the kitchen area would be the closest area to the garage.

Sgt. Winger stated that he could smell butane in the jar but there was no overwhelming vapor smell inside.

Butane vapor, when not properly ventilated, is dangerous. Det. Winger described having seen approximately 15 butane honey oil labs directly and, of those 15 labs, he investigated five marijuana lab explosions.

In the garage, a jar with honey oil (not dried), in the process of evaporating, did not appear dangerous, Det. Winger described. In most cases, the butane extraction process is the most dangerous. It appeared that this process had already occurred, as the used vessels outside were disconnected (referring to butane canisters.) CSI Pagano-Turn took pictures of the items after they were found.

Ms. Sequeira questioned Det. Winger about whether Officer Anthony Herrera and Detective Matthew Boudinot took pictures of the items outside of the garage and, if they had taken pictures, whether they had possibly taken off a tarp before taking pictures. Det. Winger stated that he did not believe they took pictures of the items.

The visiting judge declined the holding order on Count 2 of felony child endangerment and held the defendant to answer for the rest of the charges.

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About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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