WARWICK, RI — Two men, from Cranston and Warwick, pleaded guilty Monday in federal court to their roles in the operation of a butane hash oil (BHO) manufacturing laboratory inside a former warehouse in Providence.
Investigators believe that a March 9, 2015 fire, which destroyed the Kinsley Avenue warehouse, began in a room where the BHO lab was located, according to a release from Acting US Attorney Stephen Dambruch.
Christopher White, 51, of Warwick, pleaded guilty to endangering human life while illegally manufacturing a controlled substance before U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr. Graeme Marshall, 52, of Cranston, pleaded guilty to money laundering.
According to court documents and information presented to the court, White and Marshall operated Grosca, LLC, a company that leased the warehouse where White and Marshall operated a business that designed, produced and sold indoor equipment and supplies for indoor marijuana cultivation, Dambruch’s office reported.
White and Marshall used a portion of the warehouse to operate a BHO lab, which, over a period of approximately two years, was used to manufacture over 1,000 grams of hash oil that was sold at prices ranging from $15 to $30 per gram.
Proceeds from the sale of hash oil were deposited into a Grosca, LLC, bank account, comingled with proceeds from the sale of equipment and other Grosca, LLC ventures. The transactions were designed to conceal the nature, source, ownership and control of the proceeds of the hash oil sales.
White and Marshall are scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 13, 2017.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra R. Hebert.
The matter was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Drug Enforcement Administration; Providence Police Department; Providence Fire Marshal’s Office; Rhode Island State Police; and the Rhode Island State Fire Marshal’s Office.